Free throws end Verbena playoffs

Published 4:11 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The basketball season came to an end on Tuesday night, as the boys teams for Verbena and Thorsby each lost in the sub-regionals of Class 2A.

The Red Devils lost at home 76-71 to Calhoun, as a late comeback fell short, while Thorsby fell 63-45 on the road against Goshen.

After a tightly contested first half, in which Verbena led 14-13 at the end of one and trailed 35-32 at halftime, the second half heated up with both teams surpassing 70 points.

“We talked at halftime about the deeper you go in the playoffs, the more important each single possession is,” Verbena head coach Scott Doss said.

Verbena was aggressive with penetration for much of the game and was able to get to the free throw line as a result.

However, a developing story as the game wore on was the Red Devils inability to consistently convert at the charity stripe, finishing 13-of-26 on the night from the line.

“When we were two possessions down and going into the fourth quarter in the double bonus, I thought we were in pretty good shape,” Doss said. “Sometimes it just doesn’t go in the hole.”

Trailing 58-52 heading into the final quarter, Verbena narrowed the gap with consecutive successful trips down the floor that resulted in an old fashioned three-point play by Imani Walls and a 3-pointer by Tyus.

Tyus pulled up for another long-range bomb to cut the deficit to two with 20 seconds left.

However, the clock was not in Verbena’s favor and Calhoun maintained the lead the remaining time.

“Everybody who has ever played anything knows the finality of that last game,” Doss said. “The sun will come up tomorrow and it will be time to go on to bigger and better things.”

The Red Devils mad eight 3-pointers in the game, including three from Miller.

It was the final game for the current batch of Verbena seniors. Tyus led the way with 31 points, while Hakeem Underwood scored 17.

“I’m extremely proud of this group and the way that they’ve fought all year,” Doss said. “We’ve had some growing pains and had to grow up and mature a little bit as the season went along.”