Everything can change in 90 seconds.
Just ask the Ellison Eagles.
After trailing Waco Midway for a majority of the game Friday night, No. 16 Ellison came back in dramatic fashion to beat the Panthers 60-59 in overtime at home.
All it took was a minute and a half for the Eagles to take control..
Ellison came into the match with a chip on its shoulder after opening District 12-6A play Dec. 4 with a 51-50 loss to the Panthers in Waco.
That feeling only intensified when Midway’s girls rallied from a double-digit deficit in the final minutes to stun the Lady Eagles by one point in the first game of Friday’s varsity doubleheader.
“I told them Midway’s girls were down 10 with 2 minutes and came back to win on the road,” said Eagles coach Alberto Jones Jr., as his team was down by eight in the the same situation against the Panthers.
“We’re at home so we’re going to win this game,” Jones told his players in the huddle. “We just have to want it more than they do.”
The longtime Ellison coach sent in sophomore guard Deandre Thomas, and his words of motivation worked.
“We put him in and he played maybe two minutes,” Jones said of Thomas. “But he got a couple steals and that’s where we got the momentum.
“It was a total team effort, first guy to the last guy.”
The fire sparked by Thomas helped bring life to the Eagles as senior guard Chandler Sutton dropped in two 3s and was fouled on another shot from behind the arc.
Sutton made all three free throws and Ellison trailed by just a single point.
“Coming from the last game, we knew we shouldn’t have lost that game,” said Sutton of the Eagles’ 60-46 loss in Waco against the Lions on Tuesday. “It was kind of embarrassing. We felt embarrassed and we really needed this win.
“We knew this was a game we needed. We knew we could beat Midway and we just stuck it out to the end and we trusted each other.”
That trust came in handy when Michael Jefferson Jr. found Levi Whiddon down the court for a breakaway layup that put three points between the Panthers and the Eagles, 56-53, with 24 seconds left to play.
Ellison worked its way up the court, passing outside the perimeter until senior Amir Davis got the ball to junior guard Shamir Bogues, who knocked down the game-tying 3-pointer from the left corner to the pleasure of the roaring Eagles crowd.
“It feels good that my team can trust me in clutch moments and can get me the ball,” said Bogues.
Midway used its final 60-second timeout withonly seven seconds remaining in regulation but failed to score before the buzzer sounded.
A sense of deja vu spread around the Ellison gym, as the last time the Eagles were tied 56-56 at the end of regulation they also came out victorious over 18th-ranked Shoemaker.
“We believe in each other,” Sutton noted of his team’s ability to keep focused in games that head into overtime. “I believe in these guys and, mentally, I think we’re the strongest team in the district.”
That mental toughness came in handy when Anthony Scott hit a fadeaway jumper from the free throw line to give Midway a 58-56 lead to open up the extra period.
Sutton answered with a bucket of his own and the game remained tied throughout the next two minutes of overtime.
Both team’s fans grew louder and it was that energy that fueled Bogues to finish the game.
“When Midway was shooting, their fans got hyped,” said Bogues. “I just thought to myself, ‘We need to get that hypeness back on our side.’
“That’s how I stay calm.”
As time continued to count down toward double overtime, a foul from Nehemiah Nuckolls sent Jefferson to the line.
The 6-foot-7 forward made the first free throw to give the Panthers a 59-58 lead.
He missed the second shot and Davis grabbed the rebound and threw the ball down the court to Sutton.
Sutton found Bogues waiting just outside the perimeter on the left side of the court.
The left-handed guard drove down the lane before crossing over for a layup that gave the Eagles their first lead, 60-59, with five seconds remaining.
The Panthers missed a long shot for the win and now sit tied with the Eagles in the district standings at 6-2.
“It feels amazing, actually,” said Bogues of the overtime win.
Sutton echoed the feeling. “It feels great because when we were at Midway and they beat us, I really feel like we beat ourselves.”
The win was vital for the Eagles after Tuesday’s disappointment.
“It shakes off that loss from Tuesday,” said Jones. “And it lets us know we’re still in the hunt for a district championship.
“We’ve got some winners here. They know as hard as I am on them in practice, they know this right here is fun for them — this is the fun part.”
While there’s still a lot of work ahead, Ellison is going to savor this victory.
“We just have to keep playing one game at a time,” said Jones. “We knew this was going to be a big one because we knew Midway could really play.
“This was a big one for us so we have to enjoy it and then get ready for Copperas Cove on Tuesday.”
ELLISON 60, WACO MIDWAY 59, OT
Waco Midway (59)
Davis 3, Jefferson 5, Scott 14, Calhoun 3, Ezedinma 13, Gonzales 11, Whiddon 10.
Davis 10, Sutton 21, Bogues 15, Wright 2, Nuckolls 10, Stewart 2.
Midway 17 12 17 10 3—59
Ellison 12 14 11 19 4—60
3-Point Goals—Midway 4 (Davis, Scott, Calhoun, Ezedinma), Ellison 7 (Sutton 5, Davis, Bogues). Free throws—Midway 7-16, Ellison 9-14. Fouled Out—Gonzales. Total Fouls—Midway 14, Ellison 13. Technicals—Jefferson.
Records—Waco Midway 18-9, 6-2 12-6A; Ellison 19-6, 6-2.