The 7th seed Hickman County Bulldogs headed up to Creek Wood for a do-or-die game on Wednesday night, as the 2nd-seeded Red Hawks only needed to beat Hickman County for the third straight time this season to guarantee a spot in the Region Tournament next week.
The Bulldogs weren’t ready to roll over so easily, and Creek Wood needed 2 overtime periods and a late defensive stand to turn away the visitors and keep their season going.
Creek Wood worked out to a 7-4 edge after a low-scoring first quarter, and a 22-20 lead at the half. Hickman County won the second quarter by a point, and a 10-9 third trimmed the Red Hawk lead to 31-30 heading to the fourth. Creek Wood looked poised to salt away the win in the waning minutes, but a few missed free throws combined with a controversial technical foul called on Garrett Dolinich opened the door, and a buzzer-beater three from Trent Turner tied the game at 47-47 and forced overtime.
Turner stayed hot in the first overtime with 4 points, while Coulter Dotson had all 6 points for Creek Wood, and as the two stars traded free throws, the first overtime drew to a 6-6 conclusion. The sides were tied again at 53-53, so a second overtime was needed. Turner scored quickly with a basket-and-one but missed the free throw; the game went back and forth, but Turner had 6 points in the second overtime. The Red Hawks rallied back with quick scoring from Dotson, but it took a late three from Dallas Hall to give Creek Wood the lead back 62-61. A late stand by the Red Hawks got them the ball back, and Dotson was able to hit 2 free throws to make it 64-61. Creek Wood turned away Hickman County in the final seconds, including a length-of-the-floor play with under a second left, and the homestanding Red Hawks held on to play on another day.
Turner led the way for Hickman County with 27 points, 24 of them coming after half time, and 4 threes on the night. Nathan Clinard had 11 points, all in the first half, and Dalton Barber chipped in 8. Dotson led the way with 27 points for Creek Wood, tying Turner for the game-high, including 3 threes. Dotson was the only player for either side who scored in every quarter. Allen Miller chipped in 17 points, while Hall got the MVP honors for 11 points, 2 threes, and the game-winner.
The Red Hawk boys will take on Stewart County on Friday night at 8:30pm in Centerville. The Rebels did Creek Wood a favor on Wednesday night, upsetting Montgomery Central 61-53. The Indians went 2-0 against CWHS this season, while Stewart County went 0-2. If Creek Wood can make it three in a row, the Red Hawks would host the first-round region game. That’s even bigger considering that Creek Wood is hosting the rest of the Region Tournament as well. The Lady Red Hawks will play at 4pm Friday in Centerville as well.