Caldwell or Brown? Nevertheless, Eagles win on late tip
Caleb Caldwell and Austin Brown didn’t fight over the credit; they just celebrated the win.
In a wild final few seconds, Lanesville saw the ball fall through the net with a second to play to defeat Southern Athletic Conference rival Henryville Friday night in Lanesville.
It took several minutes of debate before settling on what happened in the final moments. Caldwell drove to the right toward the basket and put up a shot attempt. The ball rolled around the rim and appeared to be heading for air instead of twine when Henryville’s Brad Everage inadvertently tipped the ball in. Due to the tip, the nearest Lanesville player, Brown, gets credit for the points.
‘Caleb, at the time-out, walked right to me and said, ‘I want the ball,” said Lanesville coach Mikel Miller. ‘That’s what you want to see in your captain. He was patient, and a lot of times you’ll see kids settle for jump shots. He attacked the basket. Best case, we win or he gets fouled, or we go to overtime. He is a fierce competitor.’
The eventual game-winning field goal gave the Eagles a 72-70 victory.
Lanesville led at one point of the fourth quarter, 59-47, before Henryville stormed back to eventually take a brief lead. During the course of the second half, the Eagles tallied 45 points.
‘Three of the four quarters we didn’t execute our game plan,’ Miller said. ‘In that third quarter, we did and held them to 13 points.’
Defensively, the plan was to slow the Henryville scoring threats of Andrew Jones and Devin Richey, a pair of talented sophomores. The duo were held in check for much of the game, until the fourth-quarter comeback. Jones scored 16 of his 27 points in the final eight minutes. His old-fashioned 3-point play with 2:12 to play gave the Hornets a 68-66 lead.
Lanesville responded with a field goal from Alec Turner then a pair of free throws from Kevin Zollman with 54 seconds left to take a 70-68 lead.
On Henryville’s next possession, with a hand in his face, Jones sank a free-throw line jumper to knot the game at 70. It all set up the wacky finish.
‘Austin Brown and Alec did a nice job guarding (Jones),’ Miller said. ‘They challenged him at times to take tough shots; some went in and some didn’t. When you’re a great player like that, you’ll make shots.’
It was a back-and-forth first half between the teams until Lanesville dominated third-quarter play. Caldwell and Zollman, finishing with 22 points each, powered the Eagles’ offense.
After Turner drained a trey to give Lanesville a 42-40 lead, Zollman converted a 3-point play to add to the advantage. Once Caldwell added three free throws, the Eagles reached a double-digit lead at 50-40.
Caldwell added a pair of threes at the beginning of the fourth quarter to extend the lead to the largest at 12.
‘Offensively, we got the ball to Kevin in the third quarter,’ Miller said. ‘Without (injured) Justin Miller, we isolated Kevin a little bit more than earlier in the year. In the fourth quarter, I thought we got stagnant. When we went back to attacking the basket, we got a lot of scoring chances and some from the 3-point line.’
Zollman was able to make shots around the basket and also went to the foul line several times.
‘He is coming out of his shell,’ Miller said of Zollman. ‘He’s starting to be more aggressive and he wants the ball. (Assistant coach) Kevin (Smith) has been working with our inside guys, and you can see the difference. They have a ways to go, but from where they were this summer to now is much better.’
Turner finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Jack Ferree added eight points.
‘Alec had a great game, drawing a tough matchup of Jones,’ Miller said. ‘Jack is starting to settle in and get acclimated to playing a lot of varsity minutes. He’s handling the ball well and continues to learn.’
Miller also admired the play of the Eagles’ bench, filling in minutes for the injured Justin Miller. He’s expected to miss another few weeks.
‘You hope the injuries that are occurring are a blessing in disguise, and, as the season progresses, we become a deeper team,’ coach Miller said.
Lanesville will host homecoming tomorrow (Thursday) which includes a girls-boys double-header. The Lady Eagle place Cannelton at 6:30 p.m., followed by the boys’ taking on the same school. The boys will also play in the Tecumseh Classic on Tuesday. The Eagles will play Springs Valley at 12:45 p.m. followed by facing the host school at 8:45.