The Oak Ridge boys hadn’t lost a basketball game to Anderson County in more than eight years.
That changed Friday. The Mavericks, who trailed by 12 points with three minutes left in the fourth quarter, scored on a game-winning layup with 1.2 seconds remaining to beat the Wildcats 65-64.
It was a stunning comeback victory and the first Anderson County win over Oak Ridge since February 24, 2010. That’s when the Mavericks won the third-place game, 61-53, in the District 3-AAA playoffs.
Since then, the Wildcats had won 17 straight games in the series. Oak Ridge had won nine of those by 30 points or more. The Wildcat’s most recent win was a 69-61 victory in the district tournament semifinal at Halls in February.
Anderson County senior Stanton Martin, a two-time Mr. Football finalist as Mavericks quarterback, scored the winning layup from the left side of the lane in the Friday night game at Wildcat Arena. Oak Ridge was unable to score in the final 1.2 seconds, and the Mavericks erupted into a celebration on the floor at the final buzzer.
It was the first district loss of the season for Oak Ridge (8-3, 3-1 District 3-AAA). It was the first regular-season district loss for the boys in five years, since December 3, 2013, when the Wildcats lost to Powell 56-51. Before Friday, Oak Ridge’s last district loss, a playoff loss, was to Powell, 60-58, in the District 3-AAA championship at Halls in February.
Oak Ridge senior guard Marcus Smith led all scorers with 21 points on Friday. Senior guard Herbert Booker added 15 for the Wildcats, senior guard JaVonte Thomas had 13, and sophomore forward Jeremy Miller contributed 12, including on two three-point shots.
Senior Harrison Ogburn led Anderson County with 16 points, including on four three-point shots. Thirteen of his points were in the fourth quarter.
Seniors Grant Hayes and Tanner Davis each had 10 for the Mavericks (7-4, 4-2).
The Mavericks had eight players scoring, compared to five for Oak Ridge.
After taking a narrow 16-14 lead in the first quarter, Anderson County trailed at the end of the second and third quarters, but outscored the Wildcats 30-19 in the final quarter to take the win. Twenty of those last 30 points were in the final four minutes and nine were in the final minute.
“Our guys never stopped playing!” the team said on Twitter. “Great win tonight!”
The Wildcats will play their last home game before the holidays against Cleveland at Wildcat Arena today (Saturday, December 15). The girls’ game will start at 2 p.m., and the boys’ game begins at 3:30.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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