PITKIN – Trailing by 2 with less than two seconds to play, Pitkin needed a lot of things to go its way to move on to the next round.
And they did.
Garrett Edwards banked in a game-winning 3 from the corner to give the Tigers the 78-77 win Tuesday night at home.
"They started celebrating early, and usually when a team starts celebrating early, it's not a good sign," he said. "I had a lot of confidence in the last shot.
"We don't quit. We had a devotion before the game, and it was about sharks and how they're not scared of anything. I told them that three minutes was a lot of time left."
The last-second shot was not without controversy, however, as postgame video showed the clock did not start as soon as the ball touched Edwards' hands.
"He popped out and it was enough time for slight pump fake," Pitkin head coach Jake Greene said. "It was an impossible angle. That's what I thought God was with us. It was crazy for it to hit the glass and go in like that."
Regardless of the call, the No. 6 Tigers will move on to face No. 2 Simsboro in the LHSAA Class B Quarterfinals.
"We'll try to find as much information on them as we can and start putting together a game plan tomorrow," Greene said. "We'll practice and do that best we can to implement the game plan. We will try to make them believe that we can go up there and battle."
Hornbeck trailed 62-55 heading into the fourth quarter but went on a 9-0 run midway through the period to lead 70-66.
Hornet big man Micah Crittenden was a problem for Pitkin down low, especially in fourth. The senior scored 28 points in the game with nine coming in the final quarter.
"We were really familiar with them since we played twice in districts," Greene said. "The first two times, Cooper (Smith) hurt us the most, but Crittenden didn't do a lot. Tonight, he was an animal, and we couldn't stop him, especially when my big kid got in foul trouble. They did a good job of exploiting that."
With 13 seconds to play, Pitkin tied it up with a 3 by Griffan Paul at 77.
But with two seconds left on the clock, Trace Nicholas hit a layup to put Hornbeck up two. Following the layup, and thinking the game was over, the Hornets celebrated with their teammate.
However, Greene called a timeout after the bucket to give Pitkin a chance with 1.3 left on the clock. The full-length pass was tipped and went out of bounds on the sideline, leading to Edwards' shot in the corner.
"I was pacing up and down the sideline the whole fourth quarter, just thinking that no matter what happens, God is enough," Greene said. "That was with me the whole time. Obviously, you want to win.
"The last play, we wanted to try and get the rest of our guys to go toward the ball and draw everyone away from Garrett and throw it to him, Christian Laettner-style. They knew that's what we were going to do."
Edwards led Pitkin with 44 points, and Kyle McKee added 15 – all coming from beyond the arc. As a team, the Tigers hit 15 3-pointers.
"I've been telling the guys since the second round of districts that I don't have to preach playing hard, blocking out and all of that stuff" Greene said. "Basically, we're going to do all of those things, and it comes down to making shots. Tonight, we made enough shots to stay in there when they made those big runs."
Nicholas added 13, and Cooper Smith (12) and Jaron Mitcham (11) finished in double figures for Hornbeck.