Tyler Staley’s last-second heroics in regulation kept Polk County’s upset hopes alive, but the Wolverines eventually dropped a 71-63 overtime decision Thursday to Madison at Polk.
The Wolverines (6-12, 2-4) lost by 29 points earlier this season at Madison (13-6, 5-1), but kept the rematch close throughout the evening, especially in a dramatic fourth quarter.
After swapping the lead back and forth, the Patriots grabbed a 54-50 lead with 1:55 remaining in the game, only to see Wesley Royster drill a 3-pointer to slice the lead to one with 1:42 to go. Madison’s Will Letterman answered with a basket to make it 56-53.
With 25.8 seconds remaining, Madison’s Alex Chambers missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity, and Polk set up for a final shot. The Wolverines had to reset after being fouled with 10 seconds left, when Royster took the inbounds pass and sent the ball across the court to Shaq Wingo, who in turn delivered a pass to Staley, who had worked free in the corner.
Staley caught the pass and immediately launched a 3-pointer that swished through the net with a second remaining, sending the game into overtime.
The Patriots took a one-point lead in the extra period before a sequence of events fully turned momentum their way.
Elisha Barnette scored on a drive to the basket with 1:58 left, upping the lead to three, and drew a foul. He missed the ensuing free throw, but the Patriots retained possession. Seconds later Jacob Lamb scored and also was fouled. Lamb hit that free throw to give Madison five points in one trip down the court and a 64-58 lead with 1:11 left to play.
Polk answered with a Bryson Edwards basket, but got no closer in the final minute.
Dominique Carson had 15 points to lead Polk, with Royster scoring 11. Keyandre Thomas had nine points and seven rebounds, with Edwards scoring eight points.
Max Perkins had seven points, with Staley scoring six, Brett Bagwell scoring four and Wingo finishing with three.
Polk County returns to action on Tuesday, traveling to Owen.