The Myers Park Mustangs cinderella post-season continued Tuesday night with a thrilling come-from-behind 67-66 overtime win against the Butler Bulldogs at Butler.
Myers Park trailed by 13 at the half and nine late in the fourth quarter before rallying for its third straight playoff win. Zaqwuan Matthews led the Mustangs with 20 points, including seven in the four-minute overtime session. Nick Goble finished with 14 for Myers Park, while Henry Richards had the game-winning bucket with six seconds left in overtime.
The Mustangs (16-11) have won six of their last seven, including four straight since late in the regular season. Myers Park will head to the N.C. 4A Western Regionals in Winston Salem at the Joel Lawrence Coliseum on Friday for a date with West Charlotte at either 4 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. (Times to be announced Wednesday)
The Mustangs were able to overcome an incredible performance by Butler’s junior guard Raequan Scott, who led all scorers with 30 points. Fourteen of Scott’s 30 came in the fourth quarter to keep the Bulldogs in the game.
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After the game, an exhausted Myers Park coach Wes Hepler summed up his team’s performance.
“They never stopped believing in each other,” he said. “We’ve had adversity all year and it was no different tonight. We made our run in the third quarter, and I felt really good about it, and that they were going to take care of it.”
Goble thought he had the game-winning bucket in regulation with 2.9 seconds left to give Myers Park a 56-54 lead. But Scott drew a foul beyond the three-point arc on the long-throw inbounds pass and was awarded three free throws. Scott sunk two of three to tie the game at 56 and send the game to overtime.
“Number three for them (Scott) and number 11 for us (Jontavius Hall) went up and caught the ball at the same time,” Goble said. “Scott tried to shoot, and the refs called a foul. Thank God he missed one of them.”
Matthews saved his best for the overtime with seven points for Myers Park. “I didn’t play that well the whole game,” he said. “I know my team was confident in me, and I had to come through.”
For the Bulldogs (23-5) a strong season didn’t end the way they wanted for new coach Myron Lowry.
“I don’t feel good right now and felt we had many opportunities to win that game,” Lowry said. “All in all, we have made some significant strides this season, and I’m very grateful for every single win.”