By Steve Fields
Spencer — Just when you think Sullivan has beat the final buzzer every way possible, the Golden Arrows find another way to win.
Dreyson Boyd banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer Saturday night to give Sullivan a 55-52 victory over the Brown County Eagles in the Class 3A Sectional 29 championship game at Owen Valley High School.
Boyd’s third game-winning shot of the Sullivan’s magical 23-2 season, sends the Golden Arrows into the Washington Regional next week against Boonville. The sudden loss closed Brown County’s year at 14-8.
It’s the second night in a row Sullivan has won at the buzzer and no less than six times this season the Golden Arrows have won in similar fashion.
It was Boyd’s third game-winning shots of the season, as he beat Greencastle and Edgewood at the buzzer, too.
“Something’s going on [with this team], but whatever it is I hope it sticks with us for a while,” Sullivan coach Jeff Moore said.
Sullivan and Brown County, both trying to win a sectional title for the first time since 2003, appeared headed for overtime tied 52-52 when the Eagles’ Garrett Davis pulled down a Golden Arrows’ miss. But Davis, who had 15 points and nine rebounds, was called for traveling, giving Sullivan the ball with point-seven seconds — that’s 7/100 of a second — on the clock.
Sullivan had the ball out of bounds in front of its bench. Coach Moore didn’t call a timeout, but signaled the play.
“We didn’t call a timeout with point-seven to go. We run what we call our fist [play] and Rhett [Smith] accidentally stepped out and then he screened for Dreyson and Dreyson curled off the screen,” Moore said.
Boyd almost didn’t get there.
“I didn’t know if I was going to get open at first. I just had to sprint over there, try to find a gap. I got the gap, David [Bedwell] got me the ball and I shot it. I didn’t expect it to bank in, but it did. It goes in, it goes in,” Boyd said.
Moore had a great view of the shot.
“The minute it left his hands I knew it was good. I was in direct line with it,” Moore said.
Rhett Smith led Sullivan with 25 points, despite playing with foul trouble for three quarters. Boyd finished with 15, all coming from 3-point range.
Brown County was led by Bailey Howard with 24 points. Howard scored 13 points in the fourth quarter.
As they did throughout the sectional, the Eagles got off to a fast start and early lead. The Eagles led 17-8 going into the second period and Sullivan’s Smith had two fouls.
“This group they hustle defensively, get out in the passing lanes, make things happen. They dig for every basketball. You can’t dribble around this group, they’re going to put their hands on the basketball. [Brown County wasn’t] going anywhere, I knew they would be back,” Moore said.
Smith scored 10 points in the second quarter and put Sullivan ahead 27-24 with a putback in the final minute of the first half. However, BC’s Jordan Rose hit a 3 that tied the game 27-27 at halftime.
“It seemed like a lot a whole lot went our way all night. We missed a lot of shots. We had a lot of open shots. Rhett [Smith] pretty much carried us all night. The times we were able to get the ball inside he scored at will when he got it,” Moore said.
Neither team led by more than four points the rest of the night and knotted 37-37 heading into the fourth quarter.
“[Brown County’s Bailey] Howard started hitting everything he shot [in the fourth quarter]. It seemed like every loose ball went [Brown County’s] way,” Moore said.
With 1:46 to play the score was tied 52-52 and Sullivan decided to play for one shot. That shot didn’t fall. The next one kissed the glass and set of a celebration.
“It doesn’t matter [who we play in the regional]. We’ll find whatever we need to do. We’re just glad to be there,” Moore said.