Mustangs rise to occasion
MIDLAND VALLEY 59, SILVER BLUFF 58 (OT)
By Billy Byler | Staff Writer
Thursday, December 17, 2009

PETTICOAT JUNCTION --- Midland Valley guard Marquett Carr had to stifle a laugh when asked if Wednesday night's buzzer-beating 3-pointer to force overtime was the first of his career.

The senior has found himself in plenty of key situations over the years as the Mustangs starting quarterback in football and a starting point guard on the basketball team.

So with Midland Valley trailing by three with 10.7 seconds on the clock, Mustangs coach Mark Snelgrove knew whose number to call.

"Any time it comes down to the last second shot with us, the ball's going in his hands," Snelgrove said. "He may not take the shot, but he's going to decide who does."

Carr took the shot Wednesday night -- an NBA-range 3-pointer with a hand in his face in the final seconds of regulation play -- and forced overtime. The Mustangs prevailed in the extra period to beat Silver Bluff in overtime for the second time this season, 59-58.

"I know I'm a senior leader, and I'm going to be called on in games like this," Carr said. "I wasn't having the best game at first, either."

Carr wasn't the only Mustang who struggled before claiming the win. Midland Valley leading scorer Nolan Meyer was held scoreless in the first half, and 6-foot-9 center Byron Coleman managed just five points in the game.

The Bulldogs took advantage of their opponent's slow start with a strong inside-out game early and led by as many as nine points in the first half. Junior Kendall Rogers benefitted from his teammates' penetrate-and-dish offense and burned the Mustangs for five 3-pointers in the first quarter on his way to a game-high 24 points.

But Midland Valley trailed by only four points at halftime and took its first lead of the second half with under a minute to play in the fourth quarter after Meyer and Carr made the home team pay for switching temporarily to a zone defense. The duo orchestrated a 7-0 run to take the lead and, after trading baskets over the final minute of regulation, Carr's deep 3-pointer brought the score to 51-51.

The Mustangs, who shot 35.7 percent from the field in regulation, hit their first four shots in overtime to take a five-point lead.

Carr scored 14 points.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.

Silver Bluff's L.J. Green (right) tries to drive past Midland Valley's Nolan Meyer. Meyer had seven points in the Mustangs' victory.

From the Thursday, December 17, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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