Laurel tops Central in overtime thriller

By 
Chris Mcconnell Of The Outlook Staff
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Senior Kyson Moran gets airborne on a pass against Billings Central at MetraPark on Friday. Moran hit the game winner as time expired in overtime to lift the Locos to a 71–69 victory over the Rams. Outlook photo by Chris McConnell

Senior Kyson Moran gets airborne on a pass against Billings Central at MetraPark on Friday. Moran hit the game winner as time expired in overtime to lift the Locos to a 71–69 victory over the Rams. Outlook photo by Chris McConnell

The Laurel boys sit atop the Southeastern A conference after a last–second overtime win against Billings Central on Friday at First Interstate Arena at MetraPark.

After Laurel led much of the game, including taking a 33–24 lead into the half, Central fought back and the Locos only led 48–45 after the third quarter. After a back and forth 4th quarter Laurel had the ball with the score tied at 63–63 and called timeout with 11.8 seconds left. They couldn’t set up the play they wanted and turned the ball over which sent the game into overtime.

Central came out fast in the extra period and hit a three to go up 63–66. After Laurel missed a three and fouled, the Rams made two free throws to go up five with 2:56 left. On the next drive Kyson Moran was fouled on a drive, making the shot and draining the free throw to pull the Locos within two, 66–68. Central missed their next shot and Konner Gregerson, who had a monster game and led Laurel with 24 points, drained a three with two minutes left to give the Locos the 69–68 lead.

After another Central miss Laurel ran some clock off before Moran was fouled with 0:43 left. He missed the front end of a 1–and–1 and the Rams promptly went down and turned the ball over. Laurel had their own turnover on the next play and fouled Central with 29 seconds left. After a miss and a make, Laurel brought the ball down and called timeout with 8.8 seconds left and the game tied 69–69.

Emmet Renner inbounded to Shel Osborne who passed it back and Renner drove the lane and threw up a short jumper as Moran streaked to the bucket from the perimeter. The ball bounced off the rim and Moran was in position for the rebound and put–back as the backboard lit up red and the 71–69 victory was sealed.

Gregorson had 24, Moran 14 and Renner 10 points in the win which moved them ahead of Billings in the Southeastern A Conference.

On Saturday at home, Laurel fell to the Hardin Bulldogs 58–51 but still remain ahead of Billings Central (7–4) and the Bulldogs (6–4) in the conference.

Their next home game is Saturday at 1 p.m. against Livingston.

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