For less than 10 seconds, Jonathan Lara got to feel like a hero. Before he could even celebrate with his teammates though, Tullahoma took it all away.
Lara hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 10 seconds to play in Monday’s matchup at WCMS, but Tullahoma West escaped with a 46-44 victory on a tip-in by Evan Tomlin with one second to play.
Warren County (1-2) blew a double-digit lead in the second half, with Xavier Farrell’s late 3-pointer pushing the Bobcats up four points with less than a minute to play.
Lara decided he wasn’t going to let the Pioneers go quietly though. The lightning-quick forward showed his defensive skills, stripping a West ball handler at midcourt and racing in for a layup to cut the deficit to 43-41.
Tullahoma West countered with a free throw with 20 seconds left, but a miss on the second try gave Warren County a chance to tie. The Pioneers raced up the court, ultimately swinging the ball to Lara at the top of the key.
With time dwindling, Lara used a pump fake before getting off a shot through outstretched arms. His shot hit nothing but net as the gym erupted in cheers.
Tullahoma decided to push the pace back as De’Andre Jenkins, who scored 15 points, went to the basket. He was met by Lara and Alex van Vuuren at the rim, forcing him to try a fadaway at the baseline.
Jenkins missed the mark, but Tomlin soared in to tap in the rebound, giving him 18 points and his team a two-point lead with :01 left.
Warren County called a timeout, but a desperation heave from halfcourt was partially blocked.
It was a tough loss for the Pioneers, who started the game on a 15-2 run and led by double figures for most of the first three quarters.
Isaiah Cummings helped spot the team to a big lead, scoring a game-high 20 points. Alex van Vuuren was hot early, scoring six of his eight points in the first three minutes.
Lara finished with seven points, followed by Camron Perry with four, Baylor Melton with three and Aaron Templeton with two.
Warren County returns to action Thurday with a trip to Shelbyville. The girls game is set to start at 6 p.m. The boys game will follow.