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PARIS -- Charleston boys' basketball played in their first and last Class 3A Regional game on Monday night, where the Trojans fell to Olney 72-65. 

The Trojans stayed back and trailed Olney until the fourth quarter where Charleston made a comeback that caused the game to go into overtime. 

Before the comeback in the fourth quarter, the Trojans only trailed by less than or equal to 12 points. 

Charleston's head coach Blain Mayhall told the team to just keep playing when they trailed Olney during the game.

“We dug ourselves a hole and that’s on us,” Mayhall said.

Charleston trailed by 11 points, 38-49, at the start of the fourth quarter. Over the next three minutes, Charleston slowly cut away at the deficit, until there was 5:02 left in the game.

Trojan Senior, Reid Littleford, made a 3-pointer from the wing to cut Olney’s lead to 55-51. Then junior guard Dayton Simpson got a steal and a layup on the break to make the score 55-53 Olney. Ten seconds later, Olney junior Brent Hatten made two free throws from the bonus.

Those two points were quickly regained by Charleston with 3:28 left in the fourth. Simpson made a lay-in after missing two consecutive shots and getting the rebound both times. Then, senior guard Darrell Phillips converted a 3-point play on a fast break to give Charleston its first lead of the game, 58-57.

When talking about how the Trojans got a lead on Olney, Mayhall said: “Making shots and getting stops on defense," was key. 

Charleston nearly won with just seconds left in the fourth, when Phillips drove to the basket and put the ball up, but it rolled around the rim twice and fell out.

In the four-minute overtime, Olney dominated and held Charleston to just four points, while scoring 11 of its own, led by Hatten.

Hatten finished as the game-high scorer with 25 points for Olney.

Trojan leading scorers were Phillips and Littleford, who had 24 and 14 points, respectively. Littleford had a great night of shooting from beyond the 3-point arc, making four threes.

Olney played well defensively in the first quarter to keep Charleston scoreless for the first six minutes and 15 seconds of the quarter, until senior guard Luke Buescher gave the Trojans their first points on a drive to the basket to stop Olney’s 11-0 run.

“We didn’t come out ready to play, I don’t know what it was. Their body language told me a lot,” Mayhall said.

Up until Buescher’s made basket, Charleston’s shooting was cold from all areas of the court. The Trojans missed seven shots from baseline jump shots to jumpers from the free throw line to drives to the basket.

In the last minute and a half of the first, Charleston outscored Olney 5-4, after senior Darrell Phillips made two free throws after being fouled on his drive to the basket and Buescher converted a 3-point play, getting a put back on his own blocked shot and the free throw from the shooting foul.

With the win, Olney will play tomorrow against the one-seed Champaign Central at 7 p.m. With the loss, Charleston’s season is over.

“They probably overachieved according to 95 percent of the people you talk to,” Mayhall said. “And that’s because they worked hard. They came to practice and competed every day.”


Sports writer

Mike Monahan covers area sports for the JG-TC.

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