At times, Daniel Boone looked like it was trying to bail water from a sinking ship with a teaspoon.
And even when Dillon Reppart plugged the hole, it didn’t stick.
Sullivan South overcame a 25-point third-quarter deficit, and eventually earned a 69-66 overtime victory over the Trailblazers on Tuesday night at Snyder Gymnasium.
It was a tough early season loss for Boone, which fell to 1-1 in the Big Eight Conference and 5-4 overall. South improved to 1-1, 3-5.
Boone looked the part of a dominant team, quickly building a 17-4 lead. By halftime it was 45-24, and the Trailblazers probably thought they had it in the bag.
“It was a lack of focus,” said Boone’s Jacob Littleton, who led Boone with 16 points and 12 rebounds. “We came out in the second half not ready to play. If you’re not ready to play, any team can beat you no matter who it is.”
A pair of old-fashioned three-point plays pushed Boone to a 52-27 advantage, and perhaps heightened its sense of accomplishment. But South wasn’t buying.
The Rebels closed the third quarter with a 15-3 run and trailed by 13 entering the fourth quarter.
There were several times where it appeared Boone would get things back together. But poor free throw shooting allowed the Rebels to creep closer. At one point, Boone missed seven of eight free throws.
Meanwhile, South was taking advantage of nearly every opportunity. The Rebels made 17 of 22 tosses from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
Even the officials seemed to turn against Boone. Ryan Gaitor was whistled for a backcourt foul, then hit with a technical, and was disqualified because it was his fifth personal.
Christian Comsa made three of four free throws to close South to 60-59. After the in-bounds pass, Boone was whistled on a foul from behind as Comsa was simply posting up without the ball. Comsa made two free throws to put South ahead.
South eventually hit two more free throws, and Boone trailed 63-60. However, Reppart gave Boone new life with a drained 25-footer with 16 seconds left.
“Dillon’s shot was desperation, and we’re proud of him for hitting it,” said Littleton. “We should have taken care of business with that second chance, but we didn’t.
“We scored only eight points in the fourth quarter. You can’t do that in this league. To be where we need to be, we have to put two halves together and take care of the ball.”
South wasn’t able to get a good shot off at the end of regulation. However, in the overtime, Comsa scored before Littleton put Boone back ahead 66-65 with 3:06 left.
Dalton Light hit a bucket to put South back ahead, and Evan Headrick helped clinch the win with a pair of free throws with 37 seconds left. Boone missed two decent looks from 3-point land in the final seconds.
“I think this is a wake-up call,” said Littleton. “We should have blown this team out in the third quarter. Any team in this league can come back and play, as you could see tonight.”
Comsa led South with 17 points while Ryan Headrick and Michael Harr totaled 13 apiece.
Boone got 16 points from Gaitor, 12 from Jordan Stout and 12 from Reppart. Stout and Reppart each hit four 3-pointers.