In a game that wasn’t decided until its final play, the Vikings lost a 12-point fourth quarter lead, made plays to start overtime and then held on at the end to beat the Cardinals Tuesday night in Hays.

It was the final regular-season game for both teams.

East Wilkes’ Caeden Howell scored 16 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and his 3-point play with six seconds remaining in regulation tied the game 51-all and forced the extra period.

The teams’ previous meeting, in Ronda Jan. 17, also went to overtime.

Colby Brown hit a free throw to give North Wilkes a 52-51 lead. Matthew Holloway hit a driving shot off the glass and Zack Carlton followed a miss for a five-point lead at 56-51.

Two Holloway free throws made it 59-55 with 16 seconds to play, but the Cardinals’ Tate Samples—who scored all of his five points in overtime—hit a 3-pointer off a Dylan Ward assist to cut the lead to 59-58.

Holloway hit one free throw with six seconds remaining for a two-point lad, but missed the second. East Wilkes’ Trey Lambert drove against Trenton Sidden from the left wing, but his short floater from just left of the lane was off target as time expired.

The Cardinals trailed 40-28 with just under seven minutes to play, but outscored the Vikings 16-1 over the next four-plus minutes to take a 44-41 lead.

Howell and Lambert each scored 18 points for East Wilkes. Holloway, Carlton and Trent Huffman each scored 15 points for North Wilkes.

North Wilkes was also victorious in the girls game 51-36 behind 20 points from Liz Martin. Ava Tharpe led the Cardinals with 14 points.

(Look for a full story, complete with statistics and coaches’ quotes, in the next issue of the Wilkes Journal-Patriot.)

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