Tuesday's non-conference game between the Verona Wildcats and Hurley Tigers came down to a last-second effort and overtime, and unfortunately for Verona ended with a 79-74 victory for the home team.
The visiting Wildcats fell behind on the first possession of the game but tied it up on the next, setting the tone for a back-and-forth game between the teams despite the Wildcats trailing 21-10 after the first quarter.
Verona roared back in the second period, thanks to some sharp three-point shooting. The Wildcats converted six treys in the quarter -- their only field goals -- to go up by one point at halftime (32-31).
Coach Brad Stewart's team held the lead until almost four minutes remaining in the third quarter, when Hurley tied it up and took the lead shortly after. The Tigers went into the fourth quarter leading 51-48.
The Wildcats tied the game back up at 56 with 5:30 to go in the game and took the lead less than an minute later on an old-fashioned three-point play by sophomore Kolton pinkly. But a similar play on the Hurley end gave the Tigers a 60-59 advantage.
Eventually the Wildcats regained the lead and built up a four-point advantage, but poor clock management by Verona with under a minute to go allowed the Tigers to claw back into it. Hurley tied the game with 1.9 seconds remaining, and a final effort by the Wildcats failed, sending the game to overtime.
In the extra four-minute period, the Wildcat offense only managed one point until the waning seconds. Hurley led by as many as eight points before a last-ditch effort by sophomore Caleb Hillhouse brought Verona back to within three, but it was too late for the Wildcats at that point.
Pinkly finished as the leading scorer for the Wildcats, recording 28 points, while Hillhouse added a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore Eddie Gutierrez and junior Dominic Fernandez each added 13 points, while sophomore Austin Valdez recorded one.
The Verona boys and girls will both travel to McAuley Catholic for an Ozark Conference contest on Friday.