CLINTON—Powell senior Conley Hamilton scored with less than six seconds remaining to give the Panthers a one-point win over Anderson County in a second-round elimination game of the District 3-AAA basketball tournament on Thursday.
The Panthers (20-9) erased a 10-point third-quarter deficit and battled back to take a two-point lead about halfway through the fourth quarter.
But Zach Green of Anderson County tied the game at 42 with 1:10 remaining, and he gave the Mavericks a one-point lead on a three-point shot with about 30 seconds left.
Hamilton responded by driving to the basket in the last 10 seconds and firing off a short shot that went in, giving Powell a 46-45 win.
“It felt great,” said Hamilton, a 6-foot-4 senior. “I knew we were going to be up, so I took it to the rim.”
The Mavericks (15-16) missed a final last-ditch half-court shot.
Powell will play Oak Ridge (29-2) in a seminal game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Anderson County High School. Both teams will also play in the Region 2 tournament.
Hamilton said the Panthers and their six seniors fought hard Thursday, even after falling behind by 10 points in the second half.
“We’ve been together for a while,” he said. “We wanted to make this season special.”
Powell Coach Gary Barnes said Anderson County executed well in the second half, and the Panthers started using a full-court press. They created enough turnovers to change the tempo, he said.
Barnes gave credit to Hamilton’s final bucket, as well as crucial free throws late in the game by senior Jackson Steely and junior Jack Richards.
Powell was led by Steely, who scored 13 points. Hamilton had nine.
Anderson County was led by Grant Holt, who had a game-high 14 points. Riley Sexton scored nine.
It was an evenly matched game. The two teams were tied seven times throughout the four quarters, although Powell held the lead at the end of the first, second, and fourth quarters.
Powell also won the previous two matches between the Mavericks and Panthers this season.
Hamilton and Barnes both said Powell will have to execute well against Oak Ridge on Saturday. They’ll have to defend well and stop juniors Tee Higgins and Tajion Jones, Hamilton said. The Wildcats have prevailed the two times the two teams have met this year.
“We’re just going to try to compete and make it a four-quarter game,” Barnes said.
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