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4A boys basketball: Nature Coast edges Mitchell in overtime

The ball leaves the fingertips of Nature Coast’s Cory Emerson for his second foul shot with five seconds left in regulation.  Emerson drained both free throws to send the game to OT.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

The ball leaves the fingertips of Nature Coast’s Cory Emerson for his second foul shot with five seconds left in regulation. Emerson drained both free throws to send the game to OT.

BROOKSVILLE — An Adidas banner hangs high above Nature Coast's gym and as many know the company's slogan is "impossible is nothing."

Thursday night impossible turned into unbelievable.

Nature Coast power forward Cory Emerson, who played one minute before going in with 35.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Sharks (26-3) down by four, hit a clutch 3-pointer and two crucial free throws to put the Sharks into overtime.

The momentum shift continued into overtime and carried Nature Coast to a 64-61 win over Mitchell in a Class 4A region quarterfinal.

"Well, I mean impossible is nothing," Emerson said. "When your name is called you have to be ready to go in and hit big shots."

The Mustangs (16-11) had trouble in the first half with the Sharks' height advantage down in the paint — center Tyler Bergantino (nine rebounds, two blocks) at 6-foot-9 and forward Adam Smith at 6-7 (10 rebounds).

Nature Coast held a 27-16 lead going into halftime but in the second half Mitchell switched to the full-court press. It worked wonders, as the Sharks turned the ball over six times in the third quarter.

Mitchell battled back to take a 47-45 lead with 3:56 left in the fourth quarter on a Jake Driscoll (22 points) layup. Driscoll and senior Mike Francis (13 points) tried to hold the lead for the Mustangs, but Emerson stole the momentum late.

In overtime, the Sharks outscored Mitchell 9-6 and a desperation 3-pointer by Mike Francis fell short in the final seconds to seal Nature Coast's first playoff win in school history.

" I don't feel like things went the right way tonight," Mitchell coach Jared St. Charles said.

"Things fell out of our control in that game but my guys played their hearts out tonight."

UP NEXT

Region semifinal

Tuesday at 7 p.m.

4A: Nature Coast at Ridgewood

4A boys basketball: Nature Coast edges Mitchell in overtime 02/18/10 [Last modified: Thursday, February 18, 2010 10:27pm]

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