CARTERVILLE, Ill. — Playing their second-ranked opponent in a week, the Raiders got clutch plays from several players to win in overtime Wednesday night.
The defense then forced one final turnover on the inbounds to seal the 112-109 win against 20th-ranked John A. Logan (Ill.).
Both teams went to their hot hands early in overtime.
"This was a fabulous victory to come over here to John A. Logan. They have really good athletes, basketball players, and we just came in here and beat them. It is a great victory for our young basketball team," Three Rivers coach Gene Bess said.
Jay Scrubb, the Louisville commitment, and top-ranked NJCAA recruit in the country according to 247sports.com, scored three times for the Volunteers (3-3) while Fonda answered with a pair of 3-pointers.
Tied at 105 with a minute to go, Kinyon Hodges drove and passed to Hardimon under the basket, who scored through a foul and added the free throw.
With 20 seconds left, 17 on the shot clock and the Raiders (3-2) ahead by three, Eric Boone drove and drew a foul with 13 seconds left. He made both and the Pioneers nearly forced a five-second call before Three Rivers found Hodges, who burned six seconds before Scrubb committed his fifth foul and went to the bench with 40 points.
"We were just trying to guard him. He was very left-handed, I think Austin Parker might have guarded him better than anybody," Bess said. "He's the best player we've faced this year for sure."
With the top NJCAA recruit in the nation fouled out, Hodges made both free throws to put the Raiders ahead 110-107.
Boone, who made a buzzer-beater to force overtime, caught the inbounds and Hodges quickly fouled him to prevent another game-tying 3-pointer. Boone sank both free throws and the Raiders inbounded to Dionte Raines before the Pioneers could set up their press.
Raines was fouled immediately, made the first, and the 6-foot-2 Hardimon came up with a clutch offensive rebound against the 6-8 Curry, who fouled Hardimon with 3 seconds on the clock for Curry's fifth.
"Sealed the game for us," Bess said. That was fabulous rebounding. We had a lot of heroes. We got (Raines) got able to play and he did a fabulous job backing up Kinyon Hodges."
Hardimon made the second to finish with 11 points, and with the Raiders up by three, the Pioneers tried for a full-court pass and the jump ball was knocked out of bounds with the Raiders gaining possession, and the win.
Lydell Geffrard had 17 points for Three Rivers
"He hit big free throws and just showed a lot of poise," Bess said.
Hayden Sprenkel and Hodges each had 12.
The Raiders shot 15 for 28 on 3-pointers, were 19 for 24 on free throws and out-rebounded John A. Logan 29-25.
Boone had 21 points for the Pioneers, who shot 60 percent from the field but were 61 percent at the foul line.
Down by 12 at one point early, Three Rivers sank several 3s to take the lead with just under 6 minutes left in the first half.
Fonda sank a 3 with 8 1/2 minutes left, his third 3 at that point in the game, to cut John A. Logan's lead to four points.
Almost 3 minutes later, Sprenkel sank a long 3 that put Three Rivers ahead 34-33 and had the Pioneers calling a timeout.
Rally scoring ensued for the rest of the half and Jay Hines made a jumper from the free-throw line at the buzzer to put Three Rivers down by one, 47-46, at halftime.
The Pioneers went ahead by 10 for a single possession several minutes into the second half but clung to a single-digit lead until Fonda sank a pair of 3s to tie the game at 87 with under 2 minutes left.
"He just stepped his game up. You can tell he came to play. He needs to shore up the rest of his game, rebounding and defense, and he is a pretty big player," Bess said.
The Pioneers missed a pair of free throws, and Three Rivers found Gerrard, who sank an open jumper from the free-throw line.
At the other end, Scrubb worked against a double team, got a shot up and drew a foul before tying the game with a pair of free throws.
Brahm Harris drove off a pick and made an open layup for Three Rivers, and then the Raiders drew a charging foul against Scrubb, his fourth foul, to regain possession with a two-point lead and 50 seconds left.
Three Rivers looked to work the offense, but Scrubb grabbed a steal for a fastbreak layup.
With 27 seconds left, Hardimon inbounded the ball against the press, got it right back, drove the entire court and was fouled on the layup for a three-point play.
With the Raiders ahead 94-91 with 20 seconds left, Scrubb brought the ball up the floor, drove, and was fouled before the shot. He made the first, missed the second and Curry was called for a foul on the rebound, putting Geffrard on the line for the Raiders with 13 seconds to go.
Shooting the one-and-one with a two-point lead, he sank the first and rattled in the second to give Three Rivers a two-possession cushion.
The Pioneers scored a two-pointer with 5 seconds left and fouled Geffrard on the inbounds.
Up by two, Geffrard missed the first and made the second.
Boone then caught the inbounds at mid-court, raced to the 3-point line and sank a 3 at the buzzer to force overtime.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic