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Eugene’s Wunderlich makes winning free throw in OT to beat Blair Oaks

by News Tribune | December 6, 2022 at 12:17 a.m.

WARDSVILLE -- Ethan Wunderlich stepped to the free-throw line with no time left on the clock and the game tied between the Eugene Eagles and the Blair Oaks Falcons.

The Eugene freshman missed the first throw, but he swished home the second, lifting the Eagles to a 70-69 overtime victory Monday against the Falcons at Blair Oaks High School.

“Everyone did their job and stayed focused down the stretch,” Eugene coach Brian Wilde said. “To have a freshman, Ethan Wunderlich, come to the line with zeros on the clock in overtime and hit the game-winning free throw is a testament to his grit and his drive to win. This was a great team win.”

The score was tied at 63 at the end of regulation.

Eugene scored the first four points of overtime on baskets by Jacob Sharp and Ryder Belt to lead 67-63 with 2:22 remaining.

Blair Oaks answered with the next six points, getting a three-point play by Zach Henry and 3-of-4 free throws from Alec Wieberg, giving the Falcons a 69-67 lead with :23.9 to play.

Justice Allen scored the tying layup for Eugene with 16 seconds to play, then the Eagles stole the ball with less than 10 seconds on the clock. Wunderlich missed his first shot attempt as time was running out, but he got his own rebound and was fouled as time expired.

Wunderlich’s free throw gave him 15 points. Isaac Busch scored 17 points for Eugene and Sharp, Belt and Allen each had 11 points. Sharp added eight rebounds and seven assists and Allen finished with seven steals.

The Eagles led 17-9 at the end of the first quarter, but the Falcons closed the gap to 30-28 at halftime and took a 47-44 lead into the fourth quarter.

Blair Oaks led 61-53 with 2:10 remaining in regulation, but Eugene ended the fourth quarter on a 10-2 run to force overtime.

Henry led the Falcons with a career-high 30 points. Hudson Moyer chipped in 16 points and Harrison Lear added 11 points.

Eugene (5-1), which is receiving votes in the Class 2 state rankings by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association, plays Bunker on Wednesday in the Ozark Mountain Shootout at Glendale High School in Springfield.

Blair Oaks (1-1), ranked No. 4 in Class 4, hosts Capital City (1-2) on Wednesday. The JV game starts at 6 p.m., followed by the varsity contest at 7:30 p.m.

In Monday’s JV game, Blair Oaks defeated Eugene 50-12 to improve to 2-0. Brendan Rackers led the Falcons with 13 points.


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