The Rivalry Returns: Panthers win overtime classic with Du Quoin, 59-57
Four minutes of highlights from Saturday's game. (Doug Daniels Video)
Grant Jausel surpassed the 1,000-point milestone during the game, and also made the go-ahead bucket in overtime for the Panthers. (Doug Daniels Photos)
By Doug Daniels
1351sports.com / pinckneyvillesports.com
February 4, 2018
(Pinckneyville, Ill.) - The rivalry is back. Du Quoin and Pinckneyville battled for four quarter and an overtime on Saturday night, and after 16 lead changes, the Panthers prevailed in the extra session, 59-57, to keep their perfect record in the SIRR Mississippi Division intact.
The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Indians, but showed how far they've come since the last time the two teams met in Thomas Gymnasium. Back in December in the third place game of the Duster Thomas Hoops Classic, Du Quoin was whipped by PCHS 72-45.
"It hurts, you're right there, you want to finish the deal," said DHS head coach Justin Barrington. "We were close twice, it just didn't go our way tonight, and that's basketball. When we get back into the gym on Monday, we're going to be able to build on this. The last two weeks, we've won three of our last four. Everybody says you want to play your best basketball in February, we're playing a lot better now than we were in November and December. That's the goal, keep playing better and be playing really well here in two and three weeks."
The Panthers, meanwhile, were without starting guard Dawson Yates, who suffered a hip injury in their 8:30 p.m. game at O'Fallon the previous night, when the Indians were off.
"We're not going to make any excuses about how we played," said PCHS head coach Bob Waggoner. "We had a ball game late last night, we had a ball game today. Both are big time learning experiences for us. Last night we came out on the short end of the stick on a last-second play, tonight we did a much better job in two different situations of attacking the inside, making sure we got the ball to the rim in a tie ball game, and really taking advantage of an over-play. I thought our read was much better from our point guard tonight than it was last night. Give all the credit to Du Quoin for really battling. I thought they played a very competitive game on both ends of the floor. Our rotation's a little bit different without Yates being in there, and that effects our flow both offensively and defensively."
History was also made on Saturday night as Pinckneyville's Grant Jausel surpassed the 1,000-point milestone for his career. If that wasn't enough, Jausel also became the hero when he drove the baseline for the game-winning layup with just three seconds to go in the overtime.
"When Shamar (Adams) was very close to me, and J.C. (Moll) was driving my direction, I knew that I could beat Shamar back to the basket," Jausel said. "J.C. gave me a really good bounce pass and I was able to make the layup."
"Individually, I like to be compared to the great scorers at Pinckneyville that came before me. I always wanted to be a Panther, and I'd like to be remembered as a good one."
Waggoner added that of the 1,000+ points in Jausel's career, his favorites were the two scored in overtime to win Saturday's game.
"Jausel's been a great player for the last three years," Waggoner said. "What's been really fun for me has been watching him develop from a spot shooter to a driver that can read the defense and make plays, and now even a better defender, using his legs and things."
The fireworks started early, with each team holding a lead during the first quarter before Moll buried a three from beyond half-court at the end of the period to make it 15-11 Panthers. Du Quoin answered with the first eight points of the second, including a three from Braeden Pursell, and were out in front 19-15 with 2:50 left in the first half.
Kyle Luke cut the lead to two for PCHS with under a minute to go, then Hank Stewart tipped one in at the buzzer for DHS to send them to the break with a 21-17 advantage.
Pinckneyville made a 6-0 run to begin the third quarter, and had a three-point lead with 3:34 remaining when Du Quoin tied it on a three from Lamontay Daughtery. Stewart hit another one a possession later and the Indians were up 31-30, but Moll struck last from beyond the arc in the third and gave the Panthers a 35-32 lead heading to the fourth.
Pinckneyville had opened up a six point lead after a three from Devin Kitchen and a jumper in the lane from Jausel with 3:51 to play, but in a flash, that lead evaporated. Daughtery hit a jumper, Will Woodside hit two free throws, the Daughtery sank a three and was fouled before completing a four-point play to put Du Quoin back in front, 46-44 with 2:26 remaining.
The back-and-forth momentum swings didn't stop there. Stewart's three with a minute to go broke a 48-48 tie. Two Jausel free throws followed by a steal by Jausel and two more free throws by Moll restored a one-point Panther lead with 38.5 seconds remaining.
Then it was Josh Heape's turn to bring the red-and-black-clad fans to their feet, draining a three-pointer with under 15 seconds to go to put DHS up 54-52. But PCHS's Kyle Luke answered in the closing seconds of regulation with a pull-up shot in the paint to force overtime.
Luke hit one of two free throws 30 seconds into the OT, then Woodside connected from downtown to put Du Quoin up a pair, 57-50. Moll made two free throws with 2:18 to go, tying it up one last time.
With 14.4 seconds left, Pinckneyville inbounded to Moll, who dribbled around the top of the key before starting to penetrate. He found Jausel cutting to the basket on the baseline for the go-ahead layup, which found the bottom of the net with three seconds to play.
"We just weren't crisp. We were a little bit ragged," Waggoner said. "I knew we were tired today at walkthrough. Still, I give our guys a lot of credit, they found a way to come out with a win."
After a timeout, Du Quoin had one last desperation shot at a win, but Heape's deep three-ball wouldn't fall.
"We talked about it all week after Tuesday's game, it's going to come down to one or two possessions," said Barrington. "We were one shot away from winning it in regulation, and they got the last true possession of overtime, and they converted. Our kids have nothing to hang their heads about, we played a whale of a basketball game. It was a sectional-level atmosphere, a sectional-level game. Both crowds were into it, both teams laid it on the line. We came up a little bit short, but I can't be any more proud of my guys and how we competed tonight."
Jausel led Pinckneyville with 16 points, 12 of them coming in the fourth quarter and overtime. Moll added 13, Luke 11, Tanner Spihlmann 9, Tyler Rice 6, Kitchen 3 and Dustin Bartnicki 1. Du Quoin was led in scoring by Daughtery with 15, followed by Heape (12), Stewart (11), Woodside (11), Pursell (3), Ashton Smith (3), and Adams (2).
Pinckneyville (23-3, 7-0) is at Anna-Jonesboro on Friday and back home on Saturday against Nashville for Senior Night at PCHS. Du Quoin (12-13, 3-4) hosts Sparta on Friday, A-J on Saturday for DHS's Senior Night.