TONY STINNETT/ Courier Sports Editor
SMITHVILLE - Cannon County had two shots at pulling off the road upset in the final 14 seconds but DeKalb County dodged a bullet and escaped with a 52-50 win here Tuesday (Dec. 11).
Cory Henley and Jarrett Melton each had looks at potential game-winning 3-pointers in the final 14 seconds but each was off the mark. Melton led the Lions (7-3, 2-2) with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists. Alex Davenport finished with 11 points, Henley added nine and Tanner Larson contributed seven points and six rebounds.
The game was competitive throughout and Cannon County first started thinking potential upset when Larson’s three-point play provided the Lions with a 30-24 lead with 2:10 remaining in the first half.
The Lions trailed 33-31 at intermission and 43-40 at the end of the three quarters.
“We really competed and gave ourselves a chance to get a big district win on the road,” Cannon County Head Coach Matt Rigsby said. “We just didn’t do some little things that are so important; things we usually do well.”
The game was lost on the boards. Cannon County was outrebounded 41-30, including allowing 15 offensive rebounds.
“That was the difference in the game,” Rigsby said. “We gave up 12 points on offensive rebounds and putbacks. We just didn’t do well enough rebounding. That is disappointing because we take a lot of pride in our defense and rebounding.”
Cannon County trailed by as many as 10 in the fourth quarter but made a riveting comeback to give itself a chance at the road win.