The Eagle’s nest saw a Monday-night thriller in a make-up game between the Coosa Eagles and the Murray County Indians that was rescheduled from Friday due to weather conditions.
In a game that featured back-and-forth momentum and several lead changes, the Indians came out on top in overtime, 67-62.
The first quarter left Coosa with a slim 11-10 edge over Murray County, a tight score that set the tone for the rest of the game.
In the second quarter both teams posted 20 points, and neither team put up more than two field goals in a row.
In the third quarter, the Eagles outscored the Indians 12-11, putting themselves at just two-point advantage over Murray County going into the fourth.
The Eagles gave themselves a five-point cushion to start off the fourth quarter but it was quickly erased by a short Indian scoring run.
Halfway through the fourth a 3-pointer from Christian McFather padded the Eagle lead, 54-47, the largest of the night, and the momentum seemed to be swinging Coosa’s way.
The Indians, however, caught back up with an 8-0 scoring run, putting the Eagles down by two, until a basket from McFather tied the game in the final minute of regulation and sent it into overtime.
Murray County control was clear in overtime, as the Indians held the Eagles to just four points while posting nine of their own, allowing them to roll to a 67-62 region win.
The loss puts the Eagles at 5-4 in Region 7-AA, and although the Eagles beat Murray County on the road earlier this season, the Indians came ready to atone to that loss, and did just that.
“Hopefully our guys learn that you have to bring it every night, especially in this region, because anybody can get you,” said Coosa coach John McFather.
For McFather, the loss came down to one aspect — defense.
“Well, we played very poor defense in the fourth quarter — bottom line,” said McFather. “In the fourth quarter and overtime we did not play good defense at all.
“We weren’t very fundamentally sound, and if you don’t do those things, you’re going to get beat.
“Tonight, we played okay in the first three quarters on defense, but I thought from the very beginning we were not playing sound, hardnosed defense like we have.”
The Eagles gave up 26 points in the fourth quarter and overtime combined.
Helping post the big numbers for the Indians were Matthew Corbin with 24 points, Brady Todd with 20 points and Jake Ice with 10 points, including two 3-pointers.
The Eagles did, however, have four players reach double digits on the night.
Isaac Bradley led Coosa with 18 points, McFather followed with 13 points, including three 3-pointers and Korley Grier and D.J. Smith posted 10 apiece.
Travis Tumlin had nine points consisting of three 3-pointers.
At this point in the season, with the region tournament in plain sight, Coosa is taking this overtime lesson to heart to keep fighting for a top spot in 7-AA.
“It’s a painful lesson for our guys, because you have to play consistent defense,” said McFather. “You can’t have a bad night of defense — there’s no such thing. You have to play defense every night.
“Tonight our kids for some reason did not play good defense, and to make a long story short, we didn’t play very fundamentally sound on either end of the floor, but especially defense in the fourth quarter, and it cost us.
“It’s painful, but hopefully our men will learn from it. It’s not the end of the season, and every game is a learning experience.”
The Eagles will host region leaders the Calhoun Yellow Jackets today at 7:30 p.m.