Turnover-plagued Dragons lose double-overtime 100-97 verdict to Eastfield College on Saturday
By CHARLES RICHARDS
MESQUITE, Texas – Eastfield College overcame an early 12-point deficit, then rode the 3-point shooting of DeMarcus Metcalf and Semar Farris to a 100-97 double-overtime victory Saturday over Paris Junior College.
The Harvesters, ranked No. 5 in the small-school Division III of the National Junior College Athletic Association, improved to 12-2. Their only losses have come to Kilgore (77-72) and McLennan (70-65).
Metcalf, a 6-4 sophomore, scored 28 points and Farris — the smallest player on the floor at 5-6 — scored 20 to lead four Eastfield players in double figures. Mike Love added 16 points and Brock Hunter 11.
Anthony Adams led Paris with 22 points. Mike Harmon scored 20 points that included five 3-pointers. Eddie Leal added 15 points.
Sheldon Yearwood didn’t come into the game until 10 minutes into the second half, but immediately made his presence known on both defense and offense. He finished with 14 points.
Metcalf hit a 3-point shot and was fouled on the play, converting his free throw for an 89-85 lead 31 seconds into the second overtime.
Harmon took some of the pressure off by draining a 3-pointer of his own, but the Dragons were never able to grab a lead again.
Harmon hit another 3-pointer, Yearwood scored inside, and Leal added a basket and two free throws. Meanwhile, Eastfield was scoring on another goal by Metcalf, two by Hunter and one by Rosco Timberlake.
Leal’s goal with 1:31 knotted the score at 97-all, and PJC had a chance when Eastfield turned the ball over with 1:12 to play. The referee first whistled that the ball was out of bounds on Paris, but officials huddled and reversed the call.
But Paris threw the ball away with 55 seconds remaining in the second overtime. The Harvesters worked for the last shot, and Farris threw up a 3-point , impossible-to-block circus shot for a 100-97 advantage with less than 10 seconds to play.
Leal’s 3-point try bounced away a few seconds later, and the Dragons were unable to work the ball outside for another 3-point attempt.
In both regulation and the first overtime, the game was tied and Eastfield had possession, trying to score, as the last seconds ticked off.
The Dragons’ last significant lead came on an 11-2 run soon after Yearwood entered the game, turning a 51-50 Eastfield lead into an eight-point Paris edge at 61-53 with 7:55 to play in regulation.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Farris and Metcalf cut the Dragons’ lead to 61-59, and two more 3-pointers by Metcalf and Love capped a run that gave Eastfield a 73-71 lead. Adams took the inbounds pass and drove the length of the court for a lay-up that tied the game with 1:14 to play.
Leal took a charge that returned possession to Paris with 48 seconds left, But Paris was unable to score, which allowed Eastfield to work for the last shot, without success.
Yearwood’s goal with 1:45 on the clock in the first overtime tied the game at 80. Metcalf answered with a 3-pointer for an 83-80 lead. Leal made a basket, but Metcalf scored again to make it 85-82. Adams’ clutch 3-pointer with 17.5 seconds tied the game again, 85-85,
The Dragons have been hampered by excessive turnovers all season – even when they have shot well – and that was the case again Saturday. Eastfield’s pressure defense bothered the Dragons, who turned the ball over 32 times, to 13 for Eastfield.
The run-and-gun Harvesters put the extra possessions to good use, ending the day with 14 three-pointers – five by Metcalf, four by Farris, three by Love and one each by Hunter and Rosco Timberlake.
Four of Eastfield’s turnovers came on offensive fouls. Leal took two charges, and Harmon and David Tucker took one each for the Dragons.
Paris had 7 three-pointers – five by Mike Harmon and one each by Anthony Adams and Eddie Leal.
The game went Paris’ way in the early going. Adams scored eight points during a 14-0 Paris run for a 22-10 lead with 9:44 remaining in the first half, and the Dragons still led by 32-22 at 3:37 left before intermission.
Then came a couple of turnovers, and Eastfield scored seven points in just 15 seconds on a free throw and 3-pointers by Metcalf and Farris to cut the Dragons’ lead to 32-29.
Adams made a pair of free throws, but Metcalf drained another 3-pointer, and Farris and Rosco Timberlake added baskets for a 36-34 Eastfield lead.
Paris took a 37-36 lead into intermission on Lamar Walker’s basket inside and Harmon’s free throw.
The contest wrapped up first-half play for Paris (7-6), whose next game is Jan. 1-2 at a tournament hosted by Neosho College in Chanute, Kan.