Jim Ellis

A trying week came to a happy end for the Afton boys at Welch Tuesday night.

The Eagles lost to Seneca, Mo., by 37 points last Tuesday, then were beaten by Garber and Morrison in a tournament at Morrison.

Life improved considerably Tuesday night when they rallied to claim a 55-52 overtime victory against Welch.

“We finally overcame some adversity,” Afton coach David Markes said. “We’ve been preaching team first, team first, team first. We had some people foul out, but had people step up.”

A bucket by Magnum Mustain with 4.8 seconds in regulation tied the score and forced overtime.

Welch, which had been up by five at the half and by one heading into the fourth quarter, had gone up 45-43 on a free throw by Gabe Moore with 16.9 seconds left.

The Wildcats scored the first two points in overtime on free throws, but Shawn Free created a 45-45 tie with a layup off a steal.

Welch took the lead for one final time with 1:28 remaining when Joey Powers banked a short jumper off the glass.

Sophomore guard Brandon Jones delivered the backbreaker, a 3-point goal that started an 8-0 run for the Eagles.

“That was a heck of a ‘3,’” Welch coach Josh Schertz said. “We had a guy on him. He had the 3 and went 4 for 4 at the line in the overtime. That’s what it takes.”

Welch had a chance to nip the rally in the bud immediately after Jones’ trey, but Jacob Mount missed two layups and Austin Buchanan missed a follow-up after Mount’s first miss.

Jones had a team-high 13 points for the Eagles. He was joined in double figures by Free, who had 12 and Ryan Markes, who added 11 before fouling out late.

Powers headed up the Welch scoring with 22 points.

Afton improved to 7-0 in Lucky 7 Conference play and 10-4 overall.

The loss was just the second in 12 games for the Wildcats, who fell to 4-2 in the conference — both losses coming to Afton.

Afton coasted to a 72-29 victory in the girls’ game.

The Lady Eagles broke out to a 20-4 lead then rolled into the half with a 32-12 advantage.

Afton (11-2 and 7-0) continued to pull away in the second half thanks to 13-8 and 27-9 margins.

Ashley Carroll had 21 points to top the scoring for the Lady Eagles. Darby Todd chipped in with 14.

Jordan Amos was the offensive leader for Welch with eight points.

Both Afton and Welch mark homecoming Friday night. Afton hosts Fairland while Welch entertains Oaks.

Girls

Afton   20      12      13      27 — 72

Welch   4       8       8       9 — 29

Afton — Carroll 21, Todd 14, Shaul 8, Gibson 8, VanPielt 6, Cook 5,

Grimes 5, Prentice 3, Dry 2.

Welch — Amos 8, Chenoweth 6, Hankins 5, Tipton 4, Snedden 2, Seigel 2, McCord 2.

3-point goals — Carroll 1, VanPielt 1, Cook 1, Prentice 1, Chenoweth 2.

Boys

Afton   8       12      12      11      10 — 55

Welch   16      9       10      10      7 — 52

Afton — Jones 13, Free 12, Markes 11, Mustain 7, Shepard 4, Jarvis 4, Diuguid 2, Korb 1, Fuser 1.

Welch — Powers 22, Mount 9, Bullard 7, Buchanan 7, McClintock 4, Moore 3.

3-point goals — Jones 3, Markes 1, Powers 2.