Posted: Friday, 11 January 2013 10:59PM

Fair Grove beats Catholic on Link's game-winner

Fair Grove senior Deric Link hit the game-winning shot with 2.9 seconds remaining in Friday night’s Highway 65 showdown against Springfield Catholic. The Fightin’ Irish had their chance to win the game but junior Tyler Ast’s 3-point shot was too long. 

The Eagles held on to win 59-57.


“We’ve had a lot of games like this,” said Fair Grove coach Tim Brown.  “All of our losses were games like this and where we haven’t been the tougher team in the final four minutes.”

Fair Grove trailed for most of the game.  They grabbed their first lead near the end of the third quarter when senior Brock Derrick hit a free throw.  They held a lead going into the fourth quarter.
“I told them before the end of the third that we got to have the lead going into the fourth,” said Brown.  “And we did that and we were able to dictate throughout the fourth.”

Link led all Eagles in scoring with 20 points.  Derrick added 14 and senior Michael Thomas chipped in 11.

“It’s just toughness,” said Link.  “You have to have that mental toughness to be able to grab that energy in the fourth quarter…we just got to have each other’s backs.”

With 39.9 seconds left in the game, Brown called a timeout to draw up a play.  He put the ball in Link’s hands and gave him the decision to make.

“It was his decision,” said Brown.  “I have the upmost faith in him, he’s a coach on the floor and most of the time, he knows what I am already thinking.”

With his back to the basket at the free throw line, Link decided to not hand the ball of to his teammate.  Instead, he used a spin move to go down the lane while absorbing contact and make a tough, contested layup with only 2.9 seconds remaining. 

Catholic coach Tony Armstrong called back-to-back timeouts and Brown answered with a timeout of his own before play resumed for the final ticks in the ball game.

The Fightin’ Irish were able to get the ball down the court and in the corner, but the contested shot went a little long as the buzzer sounded.

The Fightin’ Irish were led by senior Will Hennessey with 21 points, including six 3-pointers.  Junior Ryan Haller added 12.

With the win, Fair Grove improves to 8-8 on the season.  They are off for a week and will host Mountain Grove next Friday.

The Fightin’ Irish fall to 6-9.  They play Marionville in the Spokane Tournament on Monday.

Photo Galleries

Pictures: Rogersville 2, Kickapoo 1

Log-Rog opened the 2014 season with a win on the road against Kickapoo.

Pictures: Monett 4, Republic 3

The Cubs topped Republic in nonconference action.

Pictures: Pictures: Hartville12, Morrisville 2

The Lady Eagles remain unbeaten by run-ruling Morrisville.
O-Zone Opinion
2014 Girls Tennis outlook
With the fall season rapidly approaching, who are the area high school tennis players that could find themselves in the state playoffs? Here's a look at some of the best around the area. Class 2 Contenders (Players) CeCe Givens, Branson,...
Read More
Mohawk Chronicles: Week 1 Football Recap
Finally, all the talking, previewing and predictions by "experts" such as myself are over. The season is here and Week 1 had a ton to offer. Here is a recap of the week that was and a look at big games next week, as well as my weekly "Big Man on...
Read More
Coach's Corner: Cross Country Introduction
This is the first experience for combining both Cross Country and other running information with what I hope will be interesting insights and features concerning athletes, training, competition, and "post" season racing. So let's begin at the...
Read More
Most Viewed