Courier Sports Writer
LIVINGSTON - When Livingston Academy went ahead 72-70 with five seconds left in overtime, the Wildcats knew the Lions would look to senior Josh Ruehlen for a last-second shot.
The entire gym knew it. But the Wildcats forgot about the game's leading scorer.
Down two with 2.2 seconds remaining, Jacob Nave caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles to his right and then buried the game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give the Lions a 73-72 win at Livingston Academy on Friday.
"I knew it was in. It felt great coming off my hand. I knew it was in," Nave said. "It's pretty exciting, pretty awesome."
"This is the first time I've ever won here in my last seven years," head coach Matt Rigsby said.
"Jacob stepped up and made a senior-heady play. He improvised and knocked a big one down."
Livingston Academy (14-5, 4-2) has lost all five games in overtime this season.
Nave led all scorers with 26 points. Garrett McReynolds finished with 16 and Ruehlen added 14.
The Lions' largest lead, 25-8, came early in the second stanza following a 16-0 run that began in the first quarter with 3:59 remaining.
After giving up 15 turnovers in the third quarter, Cannon County (16-5, 5-1) entered the final quarter with only a four-point lead.
Within striking distance, Livingston Academy garnered its first lead, 58-56, following a pair of free-throws from Wade Eldridge with two minutes remaining.
After two made free-throws from A.J. Daniel with a minute remaining, the Lions tied the score 60-all before Eldridge's last attempt in regulation.
The Lions shot 82 percent (14-of-17) from the charity stripe.
"We finally shot free throws down the stretch well and that kept us in the basketball game," Rigsby said.
In the last 3:07 in regulation, there were four ties and three lead changes.
20 21 07 12 13 73
08 25 11 16 12 72
Cannon County: Josh Ruehlen 14, Jacob Nave 26, Marshall McReynolds 6, Garret McReynolds 16, Briar Jakes 3, A.J. Daniel 7, Anton Knox 2.
Livingston Academy: Tanner Dillon 6, Logan Clark 11, Carter Hayes 2, Kaleb Qualls 4, Drew Gore 4, Loren Crowder 2, Xander Miller 13, Wade Eldridge 22, Zac Craig 8.