PM Boys Overcome Covington In OT To Win District Title

By: 
Jonathan Schwab

Thursday, Feb. 14 – Making clutch free throws and defensive stops in the final stretch, the Parry McCluer High School boys basketball team defeated Covington 45-39 in overtime to win the Pioneer District championship on Thursday night in Buena Vista.

After the game was tied 35-35 at the end of regulation, the top-seeded Fighting Blues (18-5) outscored the second-seeded Cougars 10-6 in overtime, as Isaac Armstrong went 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the final 23.1 seconds. Armstrong also assisted Josh Chapman on an inside basket to give the Blues a 41-39 lead in the final minute, and PM ended the game on a 6-0 run. Armstrong scored nine points, going 7-of-8 from the free throw line, and pulled down six rebounds. Also stepping up in overtime with four points, including a pair of free throws was Zach Claytor.

Last year, Covington defeated PM 55-53 on a buzzer-beater in the district finals.

PM, which went 10-0 in the district to claim the regular-season district title, had beaten Covington (10-15) by double digits in both regular-season meetings. This time, Covington’s Tyjon Rice got into a shooting rhythm, leading all scorers with 20 points and sinking three 3-pointers. PM led by five points in the fourth quarter, but Rice made a jump shot and a 3-pointer to tie the game. The teams traded baskets before the end of regulation.

Brant Adams and Will Dunlap led PM with 11 points each, and Chapman had 10 points and six rebounds. Claytor led the Blues with eight assists, and Dunlap, who was defending Rice, had six assists, three blocks and a steal. PM outrebounded Covington 25-21.

Other than Rice, Covington’s leading scorers were Jacob Roldan and Jabari Williams with six points each.

Next up the Blues will play host to Galax in the Region 1C quarterfinals on Tuesday at 5 p.m. Admission is $7.

For the full story and photos from the district tournament, please see our Feb. 20 newspaper.

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