The Marion County boys basketball team finished with just two players on the court but still came away with a 51-50 win at Atlanta.
Sometimes the quantity does not matter, as long as the quality is there.
Already short on numbers, the Marion County boys basketball team took the term short-handed to a whole new meaning Tuesday night.
The Mustangs finished with just two players — Ty Bowdish and Alex Huffman — on the court but still came away with a 51-50 win at Atlanta.
Bowdish hit the second of two free-throw attempts with 1.4 seconds left for the final margin of victory.
“I have been playing, watching and coaching basketball at a lot of different levels and I have never seen anything like tonight,” Mustangs coach Justin Ellison posted after the game on his Twitter account.
Tied at 50 with just 10 seconds left, Atlanta shot a pair of free throws but missed both. The ball was knocked out of bounds and awarded to Marion County with five seconds on the clock.
Huffman hurled a deep pass to inbound to Bowdish down court. Bowdish caught the inbound on the sideline and was fouled driving toward the hoop.
“We decided to throw it in long, in case we turned it over it would make them have to drive the length of the court,” Ellison explained.
Due to some off-the-court issues, the Mustangs have been playing with just six players since Christmas break.
“We have to keep finding a way each day to get a little better somehow,” Ellison said. “No one is going to feel sorry for us.”
Four Marion County players fouled out in the fourth quarter to put the Mustangs in a bind.
Carson Bock was the first Mustang to foul out with 3:30 left and Marion County leading by eight points. Roughly 30 seconds later, Sheldon Whetstone collected his fifth foul, putting the Mustangs at a man disadvantage.
Brennan Nick was disqualified from the game with his fifth foul with 2:30 left in the game, giving Atlanta a two-man advantage.
Landon Holt then fouled out with 64 seconds left and the Mustangs up 50-48.
They still found a way to close out the win.
Bowdish finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds. The Mustangs hero scored 11 of his points from the charity stripe as he connected on 8 of 10 freebies in the final eight minutes of play.
As a team, Marion County connected on 18 of 26 shots from the line.
Whetstone (11) and Bock (7) added 18 points in the win.
Atlanta led 6-5 after the first and 15-13 at halftime before both offenses started to click.
The Mustangs scored 21 points in the third for a 34-30 lead heading into the final frame.
In the girls game, Payton Hays recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but it was not enough as the Lady Mustangs fell to Atlanta, 52-35.
The Lady Mustangs did not score more than nine points in any quarter.
Atlanta led 16-9 after eight minutes and 27-17 at the half.
“We have played well the past two games, but unfortunately we started out slow and never could regain our flow, offensively or defensively,” Lady Mustangs coach Megan Zook said.
Sadie Spratt added 15 points, while Jordan Chatfield rounded out the scoring with four.
Marion County missed 10 of 12 free throws in the loss.