'Cats beat buzzer for district title

Monday, February 25, 2019
The 'Cats returned to the playoffs on sophomore Keegan Zdybel's (25) last-second shot. (Paul Sturm/Chillicothe Constitution-Democrat)

TINA -- The Slater boys' basketball team had some nail-biting wins on its way to the MSHSAA Class 1 Quarterfinals a year ago, but nothing quite like Saturday's 53-51 victory over ninth-ranked Meadville in the Class 1, District 11 Tournament championship at Tina.

The Wildcats trailed by seven points to begin the fourth quarter and were down 51-40 with 3:23 remaining in the game thanks to the 23 points racked up by junior Dominik Gannan for the Eagles -- who didn't score again.

Senior Latrell Johnson came off the bench to add athleticism to the Slater post and responded with seven straight points off of three offensive rebounds. Meadville turned the ball over three times down the stretch, with sophomore Keegan Zdybel tying the tilt with 1:05 left.

The 'Cats got the ball back with 19 seconds left and worked the clock down to five seconds, when Zdybel started his drive to the hole. His unchallenged scoop shot off the glass went through the hole with barely a second left, not enough time remaining for the Eagles (21-5) to get the ball back in play.

Zdybel finished with 19 points and Johnson added 13 for Slater (21-5), which returns to the sectional at Chillicothe on Tuesday to face Linn County (13-7).

Contact Chris Allen at callen@marshallnews.com

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