WATSON – It was hardly the way Live Oak boys coach John Capps envisioned stopping a two-game losing streak in District 4-5A play.
The homestanding Eagles promptly fell behind 30-10 to the hot-shooting Central Wildcats, who made six 6-pointers in the opening quarter of Friday's game at C.B. Wheat Gymnasium.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been in that situation before,” Capps admitted. “That’s what we do consistently. We put ourselves in situations I’ve never seen. We didn’t have any intensity at the beginning of the game, and they did. We weren’t ready and didn’t handle it well once they jumped on us.”
Fortunately, for Live Oak, there were still three quarters remaining, but not even that was enough time before settling the matter.
The Eagles missed a free throw with six-tenths of a second to win the game in regulation, thus forcing an extra session where Bryan Bayonne scored seven of his 18 points and DaDa Capling added five points in an 87-77 victory.
“Credit to them,” Capps said of Central. (CHS head) Coach (Brian) Hargroder’s got them trending in the right direction. The results may not show it right now. He’s getting a lot out of his guys and they definitely had a chance to win that game.”
Bayonne also reached a milestone, scoring his 1,000th point in his career. He’s a two-year starter and three-year letter winner that played sparingly as a sophomore.
“That’s a pretty good accomplishment for playing just two years,” Capps said. “He has a knack for scoring the ball and at times can carry us. It’s a great accomplishment for him. I’m happy for him because he’s put in the work.”
Live Oak (17-10, 1-2 in district) cut Central’s first-quarter lead to 45-31 at halftime and got to within a point (53-52) after three quarters.
Capling scored 20 of his game-high 29 points in the second half and Vince Bayonne added 10 of his 15 over the same period.
Live Oak gained its first lead of the game in the final quarter before Central (12-16, 0-3) tied it with 15 seconds to go.
The Eagles had possession of the ball following a missed free throw, but had the ball stolen and converted into a layup to trail the Wildcats with five seconds left.
Capps said they set up an out of bounds play that got Lawrence Pierre free near the top of the key where he was fouled in the act of attempting a 3-point shot with six-tenths of a second.
Pierre, who finished with 17 points, made his first attempt, missed the second and swished the third shot to tie the game at 72-all.
Live Oak outscored Central 15-8 in overtime with Bayonne and Capling combining for 11 points. The Eagles helped their cause by going 7 of 7 at the free throw line in overtime and finished 27 of 30 for the game.
Rylen Walker and Tyler Sherman both had 16 points to lead a group of four double-digit scorers for the Wildcats. Malik Hilliard added 13, Destin Franklin 12 and Braxston Lee 10.
“That was probably the difference in the game,” Capps said of his team's torrid free throw shooting. “We got a lead (in OT) and made our free throws. I’m not surprised we came back, but I’d rather not be in that situation to begin with. It was an exciting game. It seems like if you want to watch a good, close basketball game just find where Live Oak’s going to be.”
Live Oak travels to Scotlandville on Tuesday.
Live Ok 37, Central 24
In Central, Dijone’ Flowers powered a strong first-half performance with 10 of her game-high 19 points in a District 4-5A victory over Central.
The Lady Eagles (16-8, 2-2 in district) built a 13-6 first-quarter lead and extended that to 22-14 at halftime with Taylor Woodside scoring all five of her points during that stretch.