— By GREG WEBB
PEASTER — Applying a soundtrack as a backdrop to the District 9-2A contest between the visiting Brock Eagles and Peaster’s Greyhounds would have been an easy call on Friday — let’s go with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
As Peaster-Brock confrontations often go, formidable margins gave way to lost leads and eventually led to an ultimate rush to the finish line. On this night, the Hounds nosed out the Eagles in the first of two district tilts, surviving late Brock possessions for a 44-43 win.
Though the final period looked anything but lop-sided, the Hounds led the scoring 11-3 in the quarter. Down by seven entering the fourth, courtesy of a three-point play by Brock’s Hayden James to close out the third, Peaster cleared the margin quickly.
A pair of consecutive three’s by game-high scorer Ty Ballard (18 points) set up Eric Siewert’s timely 3-point shot just two and a half minutes into the final stanza, giving the Hounds the lead for good, though hardly imaginable at the time.
Defense, turnovers and missed opportunities themed the last five minutes of the game. After Colton Wright’s layup for Peaster gave way to Brock point guard Bailey Cockburn’s foul-collecting field goal and following free throw, there was still an “eternity” of 1:19 left on the clock with the Eagles trailing by a lone point.
Brock trapped Peaster’s guards in the backcourt to gain a pair of possessions, but could not convert the ensuing field goals and were forced to foul Peaster’s rebounders. But Peaster missed the late free throws.
Brock’s last attempt to win came on an inbound pass with 3.9 seconds left, but a miscommunication caused a final turnover.
Peaster led early by as many as eight points and were still up by three at halftime, but knew a storm was likely. Sure enough, the Eagles led by seven at the end of the third.