Shots don’t fall for Central in overtime loss to Panthers

Tyler Talkington is a shooter.

Central High School boys basketball coach Ryan Hayden tells him to “just keep shooting” at least three times a game.

It’s a simple concept, and Friday night it translated to epic results as Talkington hit two clutch 3-pointers before the Warriors fell to Montezuma-Cortez 64-61 in overtime during a Southwestern League game.

With 14 seconds left in regulation and Central trailing 54-50, Talkington gathered a pass and fired from the left elbow, draining the 3-pointer to close the deficit to 54-53.

Brackin Whiteskunk, who led the Panthers (7-9, 2-4 SWL) with 20 points, hit two free throws to give Montezuma-Cortez a 56-53 lead with 5.1 seconds remaining. On the Warriors’ final play of regulation, Talkington stepped into a 3-pointer, still a yard behind the top of the arc, and swished it home as time expired.

After a frenetic overtime period where the Warriors (6-13, 1-5 SWL) trailed by as many as eight points, they still had the final shot, down three points. After a Central inbounds pass bounced around a few players, Jeremy Champlin scooped up the ball at the left elbow, took a dribble and a step back. He fired the last-second 3-pointer with some space, but the shot narrowly missed, hitting off the back of the rim.

“We hit some big shots, but offensively I thought we just didn’t execute,” Hayden said. “We had a hard time getting into our sets and got a little impatient. I think we have the ability to run sometimes, and that ability to run sometimes made us think we can run all the time, and we didn’t fall back into sets very well.”

Trey Fair led the Warriors with 18 points and Giles Woolsey added 15 points. For Woolsey, the scoring outburst is a season-high, and Hayden said it was his first breakout performance since tearing his right ACL last spring.

“Giles, coming off his ACL, hasn’t had the speed to his game or the vertical ability to his game come back yet,” Hayden said. “I think it started coming back tonight, and it’s nice to see. It’s unfortunate that it’s happening this late in the year, but it’s nice nonetheless.”


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