By Kenneth Schott
SUMMERTOWN – Gavin Burleson was money when his team most needed him to be.
The Summertown junior forward went 6-for-6 from the free throw line in overtime Saturday night, helping the host Eagles to a 69-59 win over McKenzie in the Region 6-A quarterfinals.
“I was kind of nervous,” admitted Burleson, who scored nine of his team’s 13 points in the extra period — including a 3-pointer — after finishing regulation with eight points.
“I was taking my time (shooting them). I wanted to get that lead a little higher.”
McKenzie trailed by as many as 10 points early and by two at halftime before forcing overtime.
In the extra period, Summertown opened with nine straight points.
“We were able to take control early,” Eagles coach Wes Long said. “That’s big, in overtime. It’s just a four-minute period.”
Down by nine, the Rebels had to foul in the closing minutes, and Burleson was the one who had the majority of the free throw attempts. The other Eagles were 1-of-4 from the line in overtime.
The Eagles (20-7) also had a strong start in the opening quarter. They had the first seven points of the game and built a 10-point lead by the end of the quarter, 23-13.
Summertown forced seven first-quarter turnovers and converted fast-break opportunities off the turnovers to build the 10-point lead.
The Rebels settled down and started taking care of the ball better after that. They only had two turnovers in the second quarter, as they chipped away at the lead through the second quarter and started knocking down 3-pointers. The lead was cut to two by the half, 37-35.
The Rebels had four 3-pointers in the second quarter, nine for the game.
McKenzie gained the lead for the first time in the second half. The Rebels’ strong zone defense kept the Eagles from being able to get the ball into the paint and forced them to take more outside shots, and limiting them to one shot per possession. The Eagles managed only 19 points in the third and fourth quarter, just over half of what they scored in the first half.
Summertown center Kaden Trotter had nine points in the first half, but only managed four the rest of the game.
“They sat back in their 3-2 zone, and we really got stagnant,” said Long. “We weren’t attacking the basket. They did a good job of keeping us out of the paint.”
All five Summertown starters finished in double digits offensively. In addition to Gavin Burleson’s 17 points and Trotter’s 13, Grant Burleson added 15, Grayson Burleson 13 and Skyler Trousdale 11.
McKenzie’s Jonathan Moore scored a game-high 22 points — including the final four in regulation — in the loss.
Summertown boys 69, McKenzie 59 (OT)
M 13 22 13 8 3 — 59
S 23 14 10 9 13 — 69
McKenzie (59) — Jonathan Moore 22, Bryson Steele 13, Eli Surber 8, Caleb Gill 7, Marquez Taylor 7, Zay Webber 2
Summertown (69) — Gavin Burleson 17, Grant Burleson 15, Grayson Burleson 13, Kaden Trotter 13, Skyler Trousdale 11
3-pointers — McKenzie 9 (Moore 5, Surber 2, Gill, Taylor), Summertown 9 (Gv. Burleson 2, Gt. Burleson 2, Gy. Burleson 2, Trousdale 3)