By Todd Wills
Corsicana Daily Sun
Taylon Modester had two thoughts in his mind as he went up for a potental buzzer beater on Saturday night.
An airball free throw he had earlier in the fourth quarter. And don't miss this easy layup.
Modester didn't miss, easily sinking a layup as the buzzer sounded to hand Kerens a dramatic 60-59 victory over Mildred in the Championshop of The Kiwanis Classic at the Wolens Special Events Center.
Kerens capitalized on two missed from throws by Mildred's Johnathan Harrison with nine seconds, grabbing the rebound and pushing the ball up the floor. Nate Betts took a pass at halfcourt and hurled it down to Modester under the basket. The 6-5 senior post banked his layup off the glass for the game-winner and was then mobbed by his teammates and several Kerens fans.
"I'm glad for him," Kerens coach Don Enis said.
Modester said he had ehough time after he caught the pass from Betts to realize exactly what was happening.
"I thought when I was going up, 'I can't blow this shot," Modester said. "And then when I put it up I knew I wasn't going to miss it."
Kerens led an energized Mildred team by only two points at halftime at 30-28, but extended the lead with a seven-point run to start the third quarter. When Betts nailed a 3-pointer for a 44-33 lead with 2:07 left in the third quarter, it looked like the Bobcats would cruise to another Kiwanis title.
Mildred would have none of that. The Eagles went on a 7-0 run of their own to cut the Kerens lead to 51-47 with 5:14 left in the game.
Harrison, who had a huge part in the rally, finally tied the game at 55-55 with a layup. And Mildred surged to a 59-56 lead with 54 seconds left on a driving layup by Draylon Sterling and a free throw by Mikey Muncy.
Mildred missed four criticial free throws, allowing Modester to make a layup with 16 seconds left to cut the lead to 59-58, setting up the dramatic conclusion.
That included an unlikely hero for Kerens' continued reign over the Kiwanis Classic.
"It's a tradition to win this every year," Modester said. "I had to redeem myself after the airball on the free throw."
Boys Championship Game
Kerens 60, Mildred 59
Mildred 12 16 9 22 -- 59
Kerens 17 13 18 12 -- 60
Mildred -- Johnathan Harrison 14, Draylon Sterling 14, Connor Hill 2, Mikey Muncy 11, Nic Shimonek 18.
Kerens -- Tobyus Thomas 10, Kevin Townsel 9, Shelton Sayles 14, Rayvon Faulk 1, Nate Betts 14, Daedrion Tolliver 8, Taylon Modester 4.
Records -- Mildred 2-1, Kerens 9-5.