EDINBURGH — For three of the past four years, Edinburgh has stood in the way of Morristown advancing in the Class A boys basketball sectional on the Lancers’ home court.
Senior forward Jared Prange, a member of the Morristown 1,000-point club, scored a team-best 24 points to lead the Yellow Jackets to 58-54 win against Edinburgh, the defending sectional champion.
Wednesday night’s game went down to the final moments.
With the game knotted at 52-all with 2:12 left, Morristown continued to capitalize with its high-low post offensive set with Prange and 6-foot-6 junior Andrew Shepherdson.
Prange penetrated the lane for what looked like would be a tear-drop shot to the hoop, but instead his bounce pass to Sheperdson was right on target, and Shepherdson laid it in to give Morristown a 54-52 advantage.
Edinburgh senior Caleb Giles, who finished with a game-high 27 points, tied the score again at 54 apiece on a layup off the glass as he somehow squeezed his way between Prange and Shepherdson.
Morristown took a timeout with 1:02 left on the clock and, again, the ball went inside to Shepherdson, who was fouled in the act of shooting.
He successfully converted both free throws to give the Yellow Jackets a two-point edge at 56-54.
Edinburgh senior guard Riley Price, who was held to just seven points on the night, squared up on the Lancers’ next possession from 12-feet off the right wing, but his shot rolled off.
Morristown scored the final basket on a layup in transition.
With their victory, the Yellow Jackets (14-7) advanced to Friday’s sectional semifinals, where they’ll play No. 2 Waldron (21-0), a 45-28 winner against Lutheran on Wednesday.
Throughout the first half, the ultimate question was who would flinch first.
Back and forth they went, lead change after lead change, steals, fast-break layups and 3-pointers. And by the time they reached the half, the score was tied at 26-apiece.
To the locker room both teams went to plot strategy for the all-important third quarter. But neither team stepped up to run away.
Morristown got its biggest lead in the third stanza with 3-pointers by Jeremy Manning, Kyler Brewer and one by Prange to go up 41-33.
But it was Giles, who canned 16 of 16 free throws, who kept the Lancers within striking distance. His two free throws in the final seconds gave Edinburgh a 42-41 lead, completing a 9-0 run.
Edinburgh, which came up short against eventual state champion Loogootee last season in the state semifinals, finished the season with a 13-9 record.