Revenge is sweet even if it comes with a little bit of drama.
Just ask the East Coweta boys basketball team.
After losing on the road against Pebblebrook in a Region 2-7A game for its only loss of the season, the Indians returned the favor Tuesday night in front of a spirited crowd that packed into both sides of John Thrower Gymnasium, rallying to defeating the Falcons 67-62 in overtime.
“We are the Cardiac Kids,” said East Coweta head coach Royal Maxwell. “I have a great coaching staff here and they are really coaching these kids up and preparing them for every situation. Our kids are listening and going out and executing.”
Brandon Stroud was the late-game catalyst for the Indians.
With the Indians up 65-62, the junior prevented Pebblebrook from getting off a 3-point shot and possibly sending the game into a second overtime when he forced a steal with 5.5 seconds left.
After getting fouled on the play, Stroud went to the line and calmly sank both free throws to secure the victory.
With each victory, the Indians continue to set a school record for wins.
East Coweta improved to 19-1 overall and 5-1 in region play. Pebblebrook dropped to 13-7 and 4-2.
The Indians now control their own destiny and sit in first place in the region.
East Coweta is ranked fifth in the most recent poll and is also undefeated at home with a 7-0 record., The Indians have one more home game remaining on the schedule against region and county rival Newnan.
In the first meeting between the two teams, East Coweta beat Newnan 62-53.
Chris Youngblood led three East Coweta scorers with double figures, finishing with 20 points. Stroud tossed in 15 and Fermandez Jones added 14.
Devin Gordon finished with 19 for Pebblebrook and teammate Kaleb Washington added 10.
Pebblebrook took a 57-56 lead when Danny Stubbs hit one of two free throws with 53 seconds left in regulation.
Back-to-back turnovers by each team set the stage for a wild finish in regulation.
Derrick Emory stole the ball for East Coweta with under 20 second left.
Stroud then rebounded a missed East Coweta shot and was fouled with 7.1 seconds left.
After hitting one of two free throws, the game was tied.
Pebblebrook had one last chance to score, but missed the opportunity, sending the game into overtime.
The Falcons began the extra period with a 60-57 lead when Gordon drained a 3-point shot.
Stroud cut the lead to one with his basket on the Indians’ next trip down the floor.
East Coweta took a brief 61-60 lead when Youngblood hit two free throws with 1:55 left in the overtime.
The lead changed hands one more time on the Falcons’ next possession when Derrick Harden scored to give Pebblebrook the lead at 62-61.
It was the last time, the Falcons were outfront on the scoreboard.
East Coweta finished off Pebblebrook with a 6-0 run
The victory completed a comeback for the Indians.
Pebblebrook led 20-13 at the end of the first quarter and extended it to 36-31 at the half.
The Indians took their first lead of the game with 6:20 remaining in the third quarter when Jones was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and hit all three free throws to give East Coweta a 37-36 lead.
The momentum didn’t last long for the Indians.
Pebblebrook outscored East Coweta 14-7 the rest of the third quarter and took a 50-44 lead.
The Indians clawed away at Pebblebrook in the final period, getting the Falcons in foul trouble.
East Coweta was in the double bonus for most of the fourth quarter and took advantage of its free throw opportunities.
The Indians hit nine free throws in the period.
East Coweta is no longer flying under the radar when it comes to basketball in the state.
“We had several scouts from different levels of college here tonight and the students and faculty were great. Things are definitely changing here,”Maxwell said.
Pebblebrook 69, East Coweta 55 (girls): The East Coweta Lady Indians fell to 6-13 overall and 2-4 in Region 2-7A play with a home loss to the Lady Falcons.
Pebblebrook led 20-12 at the end of the first quarter and extended it to 48-26 at the break.
Amya Walker’s three-point play midway through the first quarter cut the Pebblebrook lead to 10-9, but that was as close as the Lady Indians could get.
Pebblebrook closed out the first quarter on a 10-3 run.
Walker and Fowler each had a 3-point shot in the second quarter for the Lady Indians, but the Lady Falcons converted three three-point plays in the second period to extend the lead to double digits.
By the end of the third quarter, Pebblebrook led 65-36.
Walker led East Coweta with 21 points.
Fowler had three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points.
Pebblebrook’s Ravin Madris led the Lady Falcons with 18 points.