The Airline Vikings pulled away in the final 45 seconds for a 64-59 victory over the Benton Tigers in the first round of the Barksdale Federal Credit Union Parkway Tournament on Wednesday night at Parkway.
Airline (6-2) faces undefeated Woodlawn (9-0), which defeated Southwood 66-48, at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the quarterfinals. Benton (2-5) plays Southwood (3-6) in a consolation game at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
In other Thursday games, Evangel Christian plays Rayville at 6 and Parkway takes on Ringgold at 7:30.
In another first-round game Wednesday, Haughton fell to Calvary Baptist 63-57 in double overtime.
The Airline-Benton game was tied at 58 with 44.8 seconds left. Benton was whistled for a 5-second violation trying to get the ball in bounds under Airline’s basket.
Trent Ivy drove inside and missed. Airline’s Louis Greenard grabbed the rebound and was fouled on the putback attempt. He made the first free throw but missed the second. Ivy missed a putback attempt but Greenard got the rebound in the middle of the lane and put it back in for a 61-58 lead.
Benton’s Bubba Osby was fouled driving the lane with 13.2 seconds left. He made the first free throw and missed the second. Ivy got the rebound and was fouled. He made one of two free throws to give Airline a 63-59 lead with 10.2 seconds left.
The Tigers then missed a 3-pointer and the Vikings hit a free throw for the final margin.
Greenard and KJ Bilbo led the Airline with 14 points each. Ivy added 12 and T.J. Robinson chipped in with nine. Jerriyun Lawrence and Osby led Benton with 12 each. Johntavious Johnson added 11.
The game was much more competitive than the teams’ first meeting won by Airline 69-52 on Nov. 17 at Airline.
Early on, though, it looked like the Vikings were going to run away with it again. Airline jumped out to a 17-6 lead early in the second quarter. But the Vikings went cold from the floor and Benton rallied. The Tigers outscored the Vikings 15-5 and led 21-19 at the half.
Benton still led by two, 38-36, going into the fourth. The Tigers went up by four early, but Airline forced a couple of turnovers in the backcourt with full-court pressure and quickly took a 2-point lead. It was close from that point on.
With a total of 53 fouls called, free-throw shooting was a big factor.
The Vikings hit 27 of 39, including 18 of 20 in the fourth quarter. Ivy was eight of eight from the line in the final period. The Tigers went to the line 32 times and made 22. They were 14 of 18 in the fourth quarter, but they missed the front end of a couple one-and-one situations.
Benton’s Jessie Little and Johnson both fouled out late in the fourth quarter.
Haughton, which defeated Calvary 62-53 in the first round of the Jack Clayton Invitational last week, led 38-30 going into the fourth quarter. But the Cavaliers rallied and sent the game into overtime tied at 45. It was tied at 51 going into the second OT.
Freshman D’Marcus Hall led the Bucs with 22 points, and Brandon Deane added 14. Frederick “Tank” Davis led Calvary with 27.
Davis made eight of 11 free throws in the overtime periods, including six of seven in the second one. The Bucs were just four of 10 from the line in the second OT.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com