MOUNT PLEASANT — Josiah Johnson lifted the Lindale Eagles to a strong start Friday night and Jordan VanDeKop was there to provide a strong finish.
Johnson scored all 10 of Lindale’s points in the first quarter and VanDeKop scored all four of the team’s points in overtime, as the Eagles fended off the pesky Paris Wildcats and escaped with a 48-46 victory in a Class 3A area playoff game at Mount Pleasant High School.
Lindale (26-8) advances to face Spring Hill in the regional quarterfinal round early next week. But the Eagles had to fight to earn that right.
VanDeKop made two free throws in the final 33 seconds of overtime. Paris (25-7) had a chance to tie the game when senior Charod Hall was fouled on a shot attempt with two seconds remaining. He missed his first free throw and then intentionally missed the second to give his team a chance to win.
A.D. Burns corralled the rebound along the baseline and dished it to Hall behind the 3-point line, but his attempt bounced off the back iron and Lindale players and fans rushed the court in celebration.
“Both teams fought so hard and it’s a shame that one of the teams has to go home,” Lindale coach Scott Albritton said. “Both teams are good. Both coaches fought our tails off. It was just an overall great game.”
Lindale held a 41-33 advantage with four minutes to go in regulation, but Paris tied it at 42-42 with 45 seconds to go. Johnson gave the Eagles a 44-42 lead as he countered with a pull-up jumper, but Paris’ K.D. Moore made two clutch free throws with two seconds left in regulation to push the game to overtime.
Johnson provided Lindale with a solid offensive performance before fouling out late in the game. He finished with a game-high 17 points. VanDeKop, the team’s usual leading scorer, added 13 points. Steven Young tacked on eight points and Nick Butcher tallied five points.
Burns paced Paris with 14 points, while Hall added 10 points.
Class 3A Region II Area Playoff
At Mount Pleasant HS
Lindale 48, Paris 46, OT
Lindale 10 12 10 12 4 —48
Paris 7 9 12 16 2 —46
LINDALE — Josiah Johnson 17, Jordan Van De Kop 13, Steven Young 8, Nick Butcher 5, Johnny Pittman 3, Mason Terry 2. FT 14-20.
PARIS — A.D. Burns 14, Charod Hall 10, Eric Horton 9, K.D. Moore 7, Tez Allen 4, Jay Milton 2. FT 8-15.
THREE POINT GOALS — L: Young (2), Johnson, Pittman. P: Horton, Burns.
RECORDS — Lindale 26-8; Paris 25-7.
NEXT UP — Lindale vs. Spring Hill, TBD.