BETHALTO - Civic Memorial hosted Breese Central in boys' hoops on Tuesday night for a barnburner in Bethalto. A hard-fought contest all the way which the visiting Breese Central Cougars took in double overtime, 70-65.

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“I couldn’t be more proud of our effort,” said CM head coach Lee Green following his team’s narrow defeat. “The way we played and executed down the stretch to get back in the game, a few balls bounced the wrong way at the end there. But my whole assessment is that I couldn’t be more proud of the effort (the team) put in tonight.”

It was all Eagles in the first quarter, as Breese Central couldn't get any shots to fall despite having a solid share of possession. Breese would answer back in the second quarter, and we went to halftime both the teams deadlocked at 24.

The Cougars of Breese Central came into the game with a 7-0 record. CM with a 3-4 record, and In the third quarter, it looked as though the undefeated Breese Central would take over. The visitors took a commanding 12-point lead into the fourth quarter, and looked to be easily on their way to an eighth victory to start the season.

But you couldn’t count out this CM Eagles basketball team. The Eagles fought back from that 12-point deficit and tied the game with less than a second remaining, as Dathan Greene sank two free throws to tie the game at 59, sending the game into overtime.

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“Dathan (Greene) struggled a bit last game, he didn’t score against Triad last Friday, and he was ready.” said head coach Lee Green postgame. “I could tell here today at our walkthrough that he was pumped up. He had a few turnovers, but for the most part, he played his butt off on the defensive end and made those clutch free throws to send us to overtime.

Breese took a quick lead in the first overtime period but was answered back by a big three-pointer from 7-footer Sam Buckley of Civic Memorial. A defensive lapse saw Breese Central have an uncontested layup as time expired in the first overtime, sending the game to double OT knotted at 63.

“We try to run everything through (Buckley),” Green said. “So we actually set that play up for him to shoot that three. It’s a play we have and we usually run it for Adam Ogden, but we reversed it and had Adam (Ogden) screen for him. He was wide open, he knocked it down.”

“It makes me look good when we draw a play up and he can make it, right?” Green said with a laugh following the game. “But again I’m just so proud of the effort we put in tonight.”

Central took control and double OT and didn't look back, as they survived a shocker against CM. The win sees the Cougars go to 8-0 on the season. Civic Memorial falls to 3-5, but this game will prove that they can play against anyone.

CM is back in action this Friday evening, as they travel to Waterloo for a conference clash.

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