Friday night’s boys’ basketball game between the Waynesville Tigers and Lebanon Yellowjackets was all about which team could control their emotions the best, and it was the Yellowjackets who were shooting technical free throws down the stretch to seal a 60-51 win over the Tigers.
Lebanon (13-7 overall, 3-0 Ozark Conference) had just retained possession after a missed free throw leading by a score of 52-51 with only 22 seconds remaining when Waynesville’s Eric Morris got a technical for disagreeing with the official over a call, and senior Quenton Shelton knocked down both free throws to extend the lead to 54-51.
On the ensuing inbound play, Waynesville (10-7 overall, 2-2 Ozark Conference) was forced to foul junior Caleb Falzone to send him to the charity stripe. After a made free throw from Falzone, Waynesville senior Shen Butler-Lawson was given a technical for arguing with the LHS student section with 18 seconds remaining. Falzone knocked down his second free throw, and Shelton made the two technical free throws to put the game out of reach.
“It was a tough game, and if the refs had called fouls early on, then it might have changed the dynamics of the game,” stated head coach Bill Brown. “When they allow a lot of fouls to go by, it just continued to get rough. Some of the Waynesville kids reacted to the stress of the environment and moment and got a couple of technicals, and we were able to go to the line and made them pay for it.”
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Lebanon started the game off slow after seven days off in-between games but was able to even the score at halftime, 31-31. In the second half, LHS jumped out on a 9-0 run after baskets from Colin Higbee, Tyler Williamson, and Shelton and took a five-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.