There were three seconds left in overtime at Shoemaker High School on Wednesday night.
Shoemaker and Copperas Cove were tied at 78.
Cove needed the victory to clinch a spot in the playoffs. Shoemaker needed the win to clinch a share of the District 8-5A championship.
The Bulldawgs had the ball out of bounds on Shoemaker’s half of the court. Cove’s Marquise Moreland, a 5-foot-9 senior point guard, was ready to make the inbounds pass.
“The play was for me to get the ball to Rashard (Odomes) so he could make a play,” Moreland said.
Odomes, a 6-foot-6 junior, had been making plays all night — none bigger than a 29-foot swish with 39 seconds left in regulation that sent the contest into overtime.
Odomes caught Moreland’s pass on the baseline, 19 feet from the bucket.
“With just three seconds on the clock, there isn’t a whole lot of time left,” Odomes said. “But I still felt like I had enough time to do what I needed to.”
Odomes dribbled twice and was double-teamed.
“I knew by then I had the ball for one or two seconds, so I knew I had to make a quick decision,” Odomes said.
Moreland remained outside the arc as a kickback option but he was covered.
“I was thinking that Rashard would have a tough shot there,” Moreland said. “But then he made this great pass.”
From the perimeter, Cove 6-foot-2 senior forward Elijah Sobers dashed toward the hoop.
“I did what I had been told to do — dive,” Sobers said. “I just did my part.”
Odomes saw Sobers.
“Elijah was open, so I had to get it to him,” Odomes said. “I knew he’d hit the shot.”
Sobers caught the pass from Odomes and went straight up for a 3-footer. The ball went in the hoop, the horn sounded and the Cove faithful went berserk.
“I’ve never played in a game as exciting as this one,” Moreland said.
“I will never forget this game,” Sobers said.
Standing beyond the arc during the final three seconds was Cove senior guard Montre’ Williams. He had drawn Shoemaker’s quickest defender.
That attention was warranted.
Williams had a spectacular game. He scored 10 points in the fourth quarter. He canned three buckets within a 58-second span of overtime. He tallied 21 points total and had a game-high seven assists.
“I knew Rashard would come through in helping us get a bucket in those last three seconds,” Williams said. “At first, I thought he’d drive and get fouled. But then he made the play and the pass. Sobers came through for us with a big-time clutch play. This was the most intense game I’ve ever been involved in.”
And so the Bulldawgs, a playoff spot clinched, will face Killeen at 7 tonight at the Mayborn Campus Center at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton. The winner will enter the postseason as the No. 3 seed from District 8-5A. The loser will be the No. 4 seed.
“We’re excited,” Odomes said. “Now, we’ve got some more work to do.”