Fans were treated to a classic on Tuesday night in Teton County as the Braves and Broncs faced off against each other in the Snake River Shootout and the moniker lived up to it’s name.
In what was game number 130 in the series since 1958, the Broncs calmly drained five consecutive free throws in the second overtime to win their fifth game of the year with a 64-62 double-overtime thriller.
The game started out hot for Jackson as Jordan King wasted no time in connecting from extremely long-range to put the home team up early. The Braves battled back to seize control in the second quarter, leading by seven with under two minutes left. Star Valley was unable to capitalize with the lead as the Broncs went on a 8-2 run to trail by a single possession at the half.
The second half and more specifically the fourth quarter was a veritable roller-coaster ride that would eventually result in 14 ties and 17 lead changes in the contest.
As time drew to a close in regulation, the Broncs owned a one-point lead as the Braves tried desperately to get a shot to connect. An initial attempt went long with Brock Gardner collecting the offensive rebound and was fouled on a putback attempt with just 1.2 seconds remaining on the clock. The senior was unable to connect on the first attempt, putting all the pressure of the gym on him to at least tie the game with the second. After a deftly called time-out by Jackson coach, Pete Hoffman to ice the shooter, Gardner was able to make the free-throw to tie the game.
A poor inbounds pass by the Broncs resulted in an immediate turnover and Star Valley had a chance to win. A nice inbounds pass found David Cranford who released a shot just prior to the buzzer that missed by inches sending the game into overtime.
Jackson controlled the momentum in the extra period, building a modest three-point cushion as the Braves could not score inside. Once again the clock wound down under 20 seconds as Cranford connected on a three-pointer that would ultimately send the game into double-overtime.
After a frenzied pace and at least one player fouling out in Star Valley’s Josh Hunsaker, the battle was decided by free throws as Jackson connected on five straight despite shooting just 44 percent as a team on the season.
Brandon Taylor, who did no harm to his reputation as one of the state’s top steal artists, nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to pull the final close but Jackson claimed the game, 64-62.
It was the second consecutive overtime game played in Jackson between the two rivals with the home school winning both of them.