CHARLESTON – After two buzzer-beaters to advance in postseason play, Cedarville finally ran out of magic.
Cedarville pushed unbeaten McGehee to the limit in Monday’s quarterfinal game, but McGehee forced three Pirates turnovers in the final 40 seconds and survived for a 42-39 win.
Cedarville (22-10) tied the game at 39-39 by Beau Miller with 3:00 but couldn’t come up with the plays at the end.
Trailing by one point with nine seconds left, Garret Parson drove inside to the paint but did not get a call.
"They got their hands on ball, but they had their hands on arm, too," Cedarville coach Andrew Tencleve said. "We got a few breaks that didn’t go our way and we couldn’t overcome it."
Cedarville got the ball back after a jump ball but had it slapped away by the Owls’ trademark tenacious defense.
"We can turn it up a little bit on defense when we need to," McGehee coach Jerome Pace said. "We didn’t play like that the whole game because they were calling it kind of tight, but we turned it on in the final minute or so. That’s what we do."
McGehee (21-0) advanced to play Episcopal Collegiate (27-3) in the semifinals today at 2:30 p.m.
Keonis Henry had 18 points and Evander Bailey had 10 for McGehee.
Alex Cantrell led Cedarville with 10 points as the Owls held Parson to well below his average with six. Miller, Kendall Pittman, Dillon Brewer and Corey Fincher all also had six for the Pirates.
While McGehee jumped to a 6-0 advantage, Cedarville clung close throughout after that. It was tied at 13 at the quarter and Cedarville led 25-24 at the half.
"No one gave us much of a chance to win this game, and no one gave us much of a chance to get this far in the tournament," Tencleve said. "We don’t care about what other people think. We just came out and played hard and I am extremely proud of these guys, they executed the game plan and did everything we asked them to do. I guarantee you (McGehee) knows they were in a ball game today."
Cedarville 46, Melbourne 44 (Men’s)
Cedarville got to the state tournament on a buzzer-beater in the regional tournament.
Friday, the Pirates pulled off some deja vu with another thriller in the first round of the 3A State Tournament. Abraham Hernandez scored inside as the final seconds ticked off the clock as Cedarville beat Melbourne.
"I guess we are the cardiac kids," Cedarville coach Andrew Tencleve said.
Cedarville’s leading scorer, Garret Parson dished off for an assist on both buzzer beaters. Hernandez had only four points for the game, but his bucket the end made the difference.
"As good as Garret is as a scorer, he is as good a passer as I’ve ever been around," Tencleve said. "He draws a lot of the defense on plays like that and he has a way of finding the open man."
Cedarville set up the play in a timeout with six seconds left after Melbourne had tied the game on a 3-pointer. Hernandez is considered Cedarville’s defensive specialist and only averages a couple of points per game.
"I just saw it was open inside and went down under the bucket," Hernandez said. "When I got the ball I was nervous, but it was amazing when it went through."
Parson had 19 points and Alex Cantrell 16 for the Pirates against Melbourne.