HALLSVILLE — Bring it home.
Easier said than done when the Marshall Mavericks are on the other side of the court.
But that's just what Hallsville did Tuesday night in a battle between the surging Bobcats and the unbeaten Mavericks in a pivotal District 15-5A contest at Bobcat Coliseum.
Up 14 — the largest lead either way of the night, Hallsville withstood a furious Marshall comeback to notch a 64-62 win over the Mavericks.
Tied 62-62 with under 10 seconds left, Johnathan Mitchell slapped a rebound back into the waiting arms of Lance Hardman under the basket and the senior delivered the game-winner.
"Bring it home," Hallsville head coach Rusty Walker told his team with the double-digit lead late. "No one was happier than me when that ball went in."
"We had fought so hard and the momentum had turned on us there but we kind of got the last laugh. What a testament to Marshall's fortitude to come back like that; but we had one last gasp."
With Hallsville up 61-54 with 1:16 left, Marshall's Tiandre Jackson-Young converted a three-point play.
After a turnover on the inbound pass, Jackson-Young, who turned in 18 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter, put up a shot from deep, the ball bounced off the rim twice and in, cutting the deficit to three points.
Jackson-Young added a free throw of his own and, again, the Mavericks stole the inbound pass.
There was no doubt on Jackson-Young's next attempt as the game-tying bucket dropped straight in.
But the Bobcats had one more shot.
After a Maverick got a hand on the ensuing Bobcat shot, Mitchell attacked the baseline, leaped and swatted the ball back inbounds to Hardman, who turned in 12 points off the Bobcat bench, who delivered the game-winner.
Hallsville improves to 17-7 on the season and 6-2 in District 15-5A play. Marshall, ranked No. 17 in the TABC's latest state poll, now sits at 24-1 and 7-1 in district action. The Mavericks notched a 57-53 win over Hallsville in the team's first meeting in Marshall.
Blaine Parker led the way for Hallsville, turning in a team-high 14 points. Nolan Johnson added 11 points and Mitchell rounded out a double-double night with 11 rebounds, adding three assists and two blocks.
Jackson-Young completed his double-double night with 14 rebounds. Carrington Love hit three threes to follow with 11 points. Greg Worth had eight points. Trel Patton and Corteze Hurd each had six points and six rebounds for the Mavericks.
Marshall held two leads on the night, the first coming at the 1:00 mark of the second quarter and the second inside the opening minutes of the third after a 25-25 halftime score.
Parker took a dish from Mitchell to make it 46-34 Hallsville after three.
Hallsville now travels to Texas High, who topped the Bobcats, 74-64, in the first meeting, on Friday. Marshall, meanwhile, hosts Pine Tree.