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Center Grove falls in double OT to Pioneers

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With the way the game started, double-overtime didn’t even seem a possibility.

But thanks to Center Grove’s furious fourth-quarter comeback, that’s exactly what happened Tuesday night.

The Trojans almost won the game in regulation, except for a controversial call, but their 14-6 run in the final two minutes of regulation was enough to at least force overtime.

Mooresville just had more offense in the final four minutes to defeat Center Grove, 71-64, in double-OT.

The Trojans dropped their sixth consecutive game and fell to 7-10 on the season. But they made sure to make the final minutes of regulation interesting.

Trailing 53-45 with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Center Grove turned to its scorers. Senior Tyler Bryant hit a 3-pointer, Center Grove forced a turnover on a trap, and junior Michael Benkert drained a 3-pointer, giving the visitors six points in 16 seconds.

Then it was junior Carson Lee’s turn. He drilled a 3-pointer with 3.4 seconds remaining to force a 59-59 tie.

That’s when things became controversial.

Mooresville appeared to commit a turnover, which led to a mid-range jumper from Center Grove freshman Titus McCoy with one second left.

But the officials ruled the Pioneers had called a timeout before the turnover. And they also added 2.4 seconds back onto the clock.

Benkert led Center Grove with 19 points and nine rebounds. Bryant added 18 points, and Lee chipped in 13 off the bench.

Mooresville senior Jacob Johnson scored a game-high 23 points.

Center Grove got behind early, trailing 8-0 and then 15-4 at the end of the first quarter. Overtime seemed out of the question.

But Benkert got going in the second period, scoring eight points while making all four of his field goals and helping Center Grove get within five points.

The Trojans trailed 29-21 at halftime. But after making three 3-pointers, including a four-point play by Lee, they pulled to a 37-37 tie with 1:47 left in the third.

Mooresville used a 9-0 during the next two minutes to take a 46-37 lead just 10 seconds into the fourth quarter.

The Trojans couldn’t get much traction until the final two minutes of regulation.

Center Grove hosts Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference opponent North Central on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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