ELWOOD – Despite trailing most of the game Elwood stayed within striking distance and London Leavell put the dagger in the Oak Hill boys basketball team with a layup to give the Panthers a thrilling 45-44 Senior Night win.
Elwood (10-9, 3-4 Central Indiana Conference) went up 6-0 to start the game on their home court, but the Golden Eagles (8-11, 1-6 CIC) went on a 12-0 run and walked away from the first quarter with a 12-9 lead.
The visitors led by as many as eight points in the game by taking a 22-14 lead midway through the second quarter. They never trailed until the 4:27 point in the final quarter of play.
David Horner and Korbin Cruea lead Oak Hill in the first half with seven and six points, respectively, and it held a 23-21 lead going into the half.
The Panthers gave themselves renewed hope of knocking off its conference foe by going on a 7-1 run to finish the half to get it within the two point halftime deficit.
Elwood got a boost as 6-foot-6 junior Tracey Ganow came off the bench to pace the second quarter run by scoring four points after sitting out the first period of play. Jared Bourff and London Leavell had eight and six points, respectively, after the first 16 minutes.
The home team gave itself some breathing room with a 43-39 lead with about a minute to play, but a 5-0 run by the Golden Eagle gave them a 44-43 lead with :09.8 remaining in the game.
Leavell drove the right sideline all the way to the basket and hit a layup to give his team a 45-44 lead with :04.3 to play. Oak Hill got past the mid court line, but Jon Mauk threw the ball out of bounds to seal the Panthers victory.
Bourff was heavily guarded all game long, but when he found an opening he made the most of it. He was a very impressive 6-of-7 from the field including one from 3-point range. He also hit 4-of-6 from the free throw line for a game-high 17 points.
Senior Leavell made Senior Night special by hitting the game winning shot in front of a raucous crowd. He followed Bourff, also a senior, by scoring 14 points on the night, and junior Ganow made six points while leading his team with eight rebounds.
Cruea and Horner paced Oak Hill with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Cruea also led his team with seven boards.