Bulldogs win on buzzer beater

By Larry Tucker
Posted 12/22/22

After digging out of a 13-point hole, Quitman’s “Mr. Clutch” Levi Thompson added to his legacy with an incredible shot at the buzzer from deep in the right corner to give the …

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Bulldogs win on buzzer beater


After digging out of a 13-point hole, Quitman’s “Mr. Clutch” Levi Thompson added to his legacy with an incredible shot at the buzzer from deep in the right corner to give the Bulldogs an exciting 42-41 win over Van last Tuesday night. 

In a game where the Bulldogs did not get a lead until four minutes left in the final quarter, it must be noted once again, it was the defense that stepped up to give Quitman the opportunities to storm back from the double digit deficit.

The comeback actually began the final minute of the first half. Down 28-15 with less than a minute until halftime, Coach Cody Wilson put sharpshooter Payton Sapp into the line-up. Sapp immediately made his presence known by hitting a long three-point shot with 38 seconds left. The Quitman defense recorded a turnover and Sapp busted the net again from long distance with just :02 on the clock, and the Bulldogs went to intermission down 28-21 and back in the game.

“We struggled offensively to get things going, but we challenged them in the second half to play better defense in the second half and hold them under 15 points ,” Wilson said. “We held them to 13 second half points and came out with the win.”

The slow first quarter ended with Van leading 11-7. Van scored 17 second quarter points and were up by 13 until Sapp worked his magic.

The Bulldog defense came out strong to start the third quarter with Brady Floyd coming down with a rebound and driving the length of the court to score, followed by another steal and score by the senior southpaw to cut the Vandal lead to 28-25.

It was Floyd again scoring off a drive down the lane and added a free throw to tie the game at 28-28, giving the senior seven of the Bulldogs’ eight points in the quarter. The Quitman defense held Van to just four points in the quarter, and going into the final eight minutes Van led 32-29. Up to that point, Floyd had kept the Bulldogs in the game offensively, aided by great defense from Hunter Jacobs, Thomas Sabedra, Ethan Presley, Garin Kisinger, Carter Smith and Landon Richey. 

A bank shot from 12 feet by Floyd made it 32-31. The Bulldogs got their first lead after Thompson tied it with a three-pointer at 5:22 left followed by another triple with 4:38 left, giving the home team a 37-34 lead. Van hit a bucket and it was 37-36 Bulldogs. 

Kisinger hit a big bucket at the 2:50 mark giving the Bulldogs a 39-36 advantage, but Van came back to make it a 39-38 lead with 2:00 to go. Van went ahead 41-39 on a bucket and free throw with 24 ticks left on the clock. 

Van missed a free throw attempt as time began to run down. The Bulldogs got the ball back and had :03 left in the game. Not able to get the ball in successfully, Wilson called a time-out and Quitman had one last chance with just 1.7 seconds to go.

The ball was inbounded in the corner to Thompson who sent his third triple attempt of the quarter in a high-arching shot that swished the net as the buzzer sounded giving the Bulldogs their 10th win of the season.  

Thompson had 17 points including four three-point shots, three in the final quarter. Floyd added 11 to keep the Van defense at bay. Sapp added six points, but those six started the comeback leading to the win.

After games at Rains Monday and Sabine at home on Tuesday, the Bulldogs will break for Christmas before heading to the Leonard Tournament Dec. 28-39.