Special to the Leader & Times
It was all about Buffaloes on Saturday night as the 2A Boys State Championship game capped off the week in Bramlage Coliseum, but it was the Herd from Republic County that carried off the championship trophy after an overtime win over Meade, 64-53.
The Meade Buffaloes entered the contest undefeated and as the top seed in the tournament. Their opponent the Republic County-Belleville Buffaloes sported a 20-3 record entering the tournament and earned the No. 3 seed.
The opening tip off saw Republic County take control and put the first two points on the scoreboard. Meade came charging back with anticipation of putting two points of their own in the books, but saw three minutes tick off the clock before Chris Hardaway was able to hit two free throws with 4:57 left in the first quarter to score Meade’s first points of the game.
Republic County jumped out to an eight-point lead before Meade was finally able to connect. At the end of one quarter Republic County led 12-9.
Both teams played a run-and-gun style of game and raced up and down the court at a very quick pace. The second quarter scoring was fairly even and Republic County was able to outscore Meade 13-12 to take a 25-21 lead at half.
Meade came out strong in the third quarter and determined to win their first state championship. It was a very physical game which saw both teams scrambling for every loose ball trying to get it to the basket. After three quarters Meade had gained some momentum and outscored Republic County 14-13, but that still found themselves trailing after three quarters and a score of 38-35.
Meade continued to fight the battle, and despite being down 39-36 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, they scored nine unanswered points, and with 50 seconds left in regulation, Meade led 47-41.
Republic County fought back and managed to score two points to cut the lead to four and after a Meade free throw, Republic County hit a three to cut the Meade lead to only two.
Meade turned the ball over on the inbounds play and Republic County was able to recover it and with only 2.8 seconds left hit a two-foot jumper to tie the game and send it into overtime.
In the overtime it was all Republic County. They scored first and never looked back. Meade found themselves scrambling once again and only managed to hit two of 11 from the field and missed all three free throw attempts. Republic County hit three out of four field goals and was nine of 11 from the charity stripe. As the 2013 2A State Tournament came to an end with the overtime thriller, the Republic County Buffaloes were crowned the champions, 64-53.
Five seniors for Meade ended their season with a 24-1 record under the direction of first year head coach Austin Lewis. Junior Jett Little led Meade in scoring with 15. Senior Trevin Wiens tallied 12, and junior Morgan Davis joined them in double figures with 11. Senior Chris Hardaway scored nine.
Trenton Kuhlman led all scorers with 30 points hitting nine of 17 from inside the arc and two for three from the three-point line. He was six for six on free throws. Trevor Allen added 21.