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Goshen pulls out a late win

Scott Watkins

The Goshen Eagles boy’s basketball team played host to the Bullock County Hornets on Tuesday night. Goshen trailed the entire game until guard Zach Alford’s go ahead layup in the final seconds gave the Eagles a 50-49 win.

Bullock County raced out of the gates, scoring the game’s first five points and opened on a 9-2 run across the first 4:25 of the contest. Goshen head coach Ethan Carroll called a timeout to regroup but the Hornets were not deterred.

Hornet forward Orders took over and scored six points in an 8-1 first quarter-ending run that included a buzzer-beating layup. He finished the quarter with seven points as Bullock County led 17-3.

Goshen began clawing itself back into the game in the second quarter behind the scoring of Alford. He poured in nine points, six from behind the arc. Five of the Eagles’ 15 second quarter points came at the free throw line as Goshen began attacking the rim.

The Hornets were only able to score seven points in the quarter off three field goals. Regardless, Bullock County held a 24-18 lead at halftime.

Bullock County opened the second half in a similar fashion to how it opened the game. The Hornets dropped in the third quarter’s first four field goals to jump out to a 33-18 lead. Goshen came up empty on multiple open shots at the rim until Dawson converted an and-one to give the Eagles their first three points of the half.

A six-point sequence late in the third gave Goshen new life. As Alford sank his third three of the game, a technical foul was called on the Hornets. Hollis hit one of two free throws and Hinkle scored inside on the ensuing Goshen possession.

The two sides then traded baskets before the third quarter ended with Bullock County in front, 39-29.

Goshen opened the final quarter with a three pointer from Rogers and a layup from Hinkle. Both were followed by layups from Orders.

The Eagles then dug into the Bullock County lead with another Hinkle layup and a pair of free throws from Hollis that cut the lead down to 43-38.

Coming out of a Bullock County timeout, the Hornets began playing keep away and held onto the basketball for nearly two full minutes. After a made free throw from Bullock County, Alford drained three free throws to pull Goshen within three with 1:15 left to play.

It then became a free throw battle down the stretch with each team trading trips to the line. Alford scored eight consecutive points for Goshen but he was always answered with free throws on the other end.

Up 49-46, Bullock County came up empty during a trip to the charity stripe and allowed Goshen to come within one behind a pair of Hollis free throws. That was followed by two more missed free throws from the Hornets, giving Goshen the ball with 22 seconds left down one point.

On the final possession of the game, Goshen worked the ball around until Alford knifed through the defense and hit a floater off the glass with five seconds left to give the Eagles its first lead and, after the inbounds pass was stolen, the win.

Alford led both teams with 22 points, 13 of them coming in the second half. Orders led Bullock County with 12 points.

Following the game, Carroll had nothing but praise for his team.

“We started off getting beat 19-3 and couldn’t buy a basket,” Carroll said. “What I’m most proud of is the way these kids fought back. This shows a lot of heart in our kids, beyond proud of the way they fought back.”

Goshen will play twice more this week with a game against Andalusia on Thursday night before travelling to Luverne on Friday.