Written by Corbett Smith
SOC survives, 70-69, as Lincoln misses two FTs, putback in final 2.5 seconds
Back and forth in the game’s final seconds, with just one point separating South Oak Cliff and Lincoln, both teams had and squandered good opportunities to seal the win or retake the lead.
“It was, ‘I don’t want it you take it no, you take it,’” South Oak Cliff coach James Mays II said.
At the buzzer’s end Tuesday, one of the most improbable scenarios came true.
Lincoln star guard Derrick Neal missed both free throw attempts on a double bonus with 2.5 seconds remaining, and a putback attempt fell of the side of the rim as South Oak Cliff held on for a 70-69 win.
“We fought through,” Mays said. “I mean, if you would have told me that one of the [Neal] twins was on the line, needing a free throw to tie or two to win it, I would have never guessed that would happen.”
The final seconds of the game was chaotic.
With his brother Erick out of the game after fouling out, Derrick Neal hit an off-balance 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to leave Lincoln (22-6) a point behind.
On the ensuing possession, SOC guard Frank Byers tripped and fell, appearing to turn the ball over before a foul was called. Byers was injured on the play, and Mays substituted senior Sidney Owens to shoot the free throws.
But Owens missed both attempts and was called for a blocking foul on Neal at halfcourt with 2.5 seconds left, setting up the last-second drama. South Oak Cliff was 16 of 32 from the free throw line.
SOC (27-6) advanced to face Lancaster in the Class 4A Region II tournament in Garland.
Derrick Neal led all players with 18 points, while Mr Dawson and J.F. Thomas each scored 13 for SOC.