The Rolla boys basketball team (16-7, 5-4 OC) hosted Glendale for an Ozark Conference matchup on Monday. Feb. 18. Regulation wasn't enough for these two conference rivals, as they traded game-tying shots before Rolla pulled out an 81-79 win in double overtime.
Rolla got out to a great start Monday night on the back of some solid three point shooting and a great push from Alec Buhr. Buhr scored six points in the opening quarter, while Trey Quick added four and the duo of Blaize Klossner and Muluken Pritchett knocked down a three a piece. Glendale was able to hang around thanks to a pair of their own threes, but Rolla still carried an 18-10 lead into the second quarter.
Glendale kept hanging around early in the second quarter, before some more hot shooting helped Rolla take control. Klossner was huge for Rolla in the quarter, connecting on a pair of threes and scoring nine points in the quarter. A three from Klossner helped extend the Bulldogs' lead back out to double figures with just over three minutes left in the quarter, as Rolla carried a 35-22 lead into the break.
While Rolla went into the half with a 13-point lead, Glendale wasn't ready to go down without a fight. The Falcons went off in the third, scoring 25 points on the back of five threes. Glendale got within two points midway through the quarter, but Rolla did not surrender the lead. Buhr was huge for Rolla in the quarter, scoring 11 points to help maintain the lead. Trey Brown then gave the Bulldogs some much needed breathing room when he knocked down a three to extend the lead back out to 44-37. Another three from Pritchett provided another big punch down the stretch, as Rolla took a 54-47 lead into the fourth.
Despite Rolla's best efforts, they couldn't put the game away in the fourth. Glendale was again able to get within two three minutes into the quarter, before a wild end to regulation. The Falcons tied the game with 1:44 left to play when Carter Harrell connected on a layup while being fouled. He hit the free throw to lock the game at 61. The Bulldogs responded with a huge bucket from RJ Alfred. Rolla maintained that lead for most of the quarter, but couldn't add to it, as repeated trips to the charity stripe resulted in missed opportunities. Pritchett added a free throw with 22.7 seconds left to extend the lead out to three points. On the other end, Glendale elected to drive to the basket, rather than shoot a game-tying three, and missed. Brown grabbed the board and kicked it back out to Buhr, who was fouled. Buht missed both of his free throws with 4.2 seconds left, giving Glendale one more chance. That's when Aaron Ledgerwood buried a three at the buzzer to lock the game at 64 at force overtime.
Glendale seemed to be in the driver's seat for a long stretch of the overtime, leading by as many as four in the overtime period. Alec Buhr nearly tied the game with 1:30 left to play, but his foot was on the three point line when he knocked down a shot, bringing the score to 69-68. The Bulldogs were then able to force a turnover on the ensuing inbound, before Buhr connected on a pair of free throws to take a 70-69 lead. Glendale responded with a basket of their own to take retake the lead by a point, before knocking down a pair of free throws with 16.8 left in the overtime period. Rolla missed their first chance to tie on a Klossner three, but the ball went out of bounds off of Glendale with 7.4 seconds left, setting up a final attempt. The Bulldogs got the ball in bounds, but Buhr couldn't find the shot he was looking for, so he flipped a quick pass to Brown. With a hand in his face, Brown launched a deep three and connected, forcing a second overtime tied at 73.
Rolla was able to take the first lead of the second overtime period after four straight points form Klossner, but Glendale kept hanging around. They responded with four straight points of their own to tie the game at 77, before a bucket by Quick with 54 seconds left to play. Winston Quinn responded with a pair of free throws with 39.9 seconds left, setting up a wild finish. After running off some clock, Brown got a clean look from three as the clock was running out. The shot missed, but Buhr was under the basket to grab the board and get off a quick layup. The basket fell as the clock hit zero and Rolla walked away with a wild 81-79 win.
"We ran the play a little differently. Trey hit a big one to send us on into the second overtime and we just changed the play a little bit there at the end where we had Trey Brown shoot an air ball to Alec Buhr under the basket, so he could finish it off," joked head coach Mark Miller after the game.
Coach Miller was glad to see his team bounce back after back to back Ozark Conference losses, particularly last week's 84-67 loss to Camdenton. It was important for the Bulldogs to shake off a loss and right the ship as they gear up for the last week of the regular season.
"We had a little hiccup with Camdenton, but you take those sometimes and you just get rid of them," said the Rolla head coach. "There are certain games where you're not going to play very well and that was our game this year where we just didn't play very well. I was so proud of our guys. We got rid of that in a big hurry, we had three really solid practice days and yesterday was our best practice day of the entire season. It showed tonight. They came out tonight, showed that they wanted to play and they beat a good team."
Buhr led all scorers with 35 points in the victory, while Klossner added 16. Brown chipped in with nine, while both Quick and Pritchett contributed seven points. Alfred scored five and Colby Shivers added two points.
"This was really typical of our guys. They'll just keep battling and scratching and clawing and they did a good job of that tonight," said coach Miller. "They had to play every single second to get this one tonight."
Rolla was originally slated to follow the double OT win with a trip to Pacific on Tuesday, but that game was postponed due to weather. The Bulldogs will now travel to Pacific on Wednesday, before hosting Waynesville for Senior Night on Thursday.