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Twin Lakes' comeback falls short
March 5, 2012Twin Lakes High School
MONTICELLO -- Matt Orr's ear-to-ear grin told the story, but just in case that didn't speak clearly enough, he held tangible proof of victory.
Orr clutched a piece of the net tightly in his left hand after Western's 54-52 victory over Twin Lakes in the championship game of the Class 3A Twin Lakes Sectional Saturday night.
"I would not trade this for anything right now," Orr said.
He had a team-best 14 points, including three key 3-pointers for the Panthers, who won a physical championship game in a hostile environment.
"We knew going into this that it was going to be a crazy atmosphere because it's on their home court," Orr said. "There's nothing sweeter than beating them on their home court and getting a sectional championship -- back to back."
The gym was loud in the first quarter and the rival crowds got more intense as the game went on.
"Before the draw, I knew whatever the draw was going to be, I knew Twin Lakes, on their home floor, with their crowd, they were going to be a tough out, and they were," Western coach Andy Weaver said. "Our guys persevered. It wasn't as pretty as last night (a semifinal win over West Lafayette) but give Twin Lakes credit for that."
The game was intense all the way to the final buzzer. With Western up 53-52, Orr was fouled with 8.4 seconds left. He missed his first free throw but hit the second.
Twin Lakes' Cameron Bennington pierced the Western pressure defense and tried to hit a running drive. He missed and the rebound was batted around before a final Twin Lakes chance was smothered at the buzzer.
"We wanted to get somebody driving to the basket and get an opportunity," Twin Lakes coach Kent Adams said. "We tried to set up for Brian Moore. I'm sure he was tightly guarded, but Cameron was open. We got a shot off with 3 or 4 seconds to go. We got a rebound opportunity after that. It's tough to be on balance and stay focused. You have to combat their size. They're very physical."
The Indians went on a 7-0 run to take a 49-48 lead, then a series of big buckets back-to-back-to-back ended with Western on top. Orr answered Twin Lakes' run with a 3. Twin Lakes' Jordan Crabb hit a trey on the next possession, but Warden converted a drive with 2:40 left for a 53-52 Western lead.
Neither team scored again until Orr's free throw with 8.4 seconds left.
"We gave ourselves a chance," Adams said. "We were down what, 6 or 7 going into the fourth quarter? To come back on them is something that's hard to do. We had some opportunities and we are just not quite as big, not quite as strong, not quite as fast. We were undermanned but I thought we overachieved to get to that point."
Constable and Warden each had 12 points for Western.
Crabb and Ryan Connell led Twin Lakes with 16 points each. Moore added 11.