History Made In Knights Comeback Win
(Aurora, Ind.) – Many fans may have tuned out listening at home on the radio or at the game mentally as the South Dearborn Knights trailed rival East Central 52-24 at the start of the fourth quarter.
But, the Knights coaches and players sure didn’t give in on Friday.
South Dearborn would roar back in the final eight minutes to outscore the Trojans 32-2 and complete the largest fourth quarter comeback in Indiana high school basketball history.
Junior Weston Taylor capped the comeback with a baseline drive and layup with 11 seconds to play to tie it at 54. He was fouled on the shot and made the ensuing free throw to take the lead.
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When a last-second prayer from East Central’s Payton Stonefield fell short, the Knights’ bench and fans stormed the South Dearborn High School court.
“What I told the kids is we have to get this game respectable. We went up there in December and got drilled,” Rick Shumate, the first year South Dearborn head coach, told Eagle 99.3 following the game.
Thanks to a series of three pointers, foul shots, and an outstanding full-court press, the Knights created opportunities for themselves. The window of opportunity was opened.
“As the game started turning I called a timeout and told the boys ‘Guys, this game ain’t over. We’re only down 16 and you just cut a 30 point deficit in a matter of two minutes. You just have to keep coming and keep coming without fouling,’” Shumate said.
For East Central, everything that could go wrong did. They made just one field goal in the final quarter, committed a bevy of turnovers, and missed the front end of three one-and-one free throw trips.
The win is only the second of the season for Shumate’s team, which has shown steady progress in recent games.
“I have to give my kids credit. They play so hard and they do that every night for me. I love the way they play,” the coach said.
South Dearborn was led in scoring by Austin Miller with 17 points. Weston Taylor and Cameron Louden each finished with 14.
East Central’s top scorer was Cole Pettit with 14 points.
Adding an even more ironic twist to the story is that South Dearborn is now part of the two largest fourth quarter comebacks in state history. Just last season on January 27, 2011, the Knights were on the wrong end of a 23 point comeback by the Greensburg Pirates in a game that ended 67-65.
The comeback also ranks as the second-largest deficit overcame in an entire game in Indiana, behind only a 31 point resurgence by Forest Park to defeat Heritage Hills 81-77 in overtime in 2004.
The loss is a painful one for East Central, dealing a serious blow to the Trojans chances of sharing the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference title with Greensburg. Earlier this season, the Trojans allowed a 21 point second half comeback to Greensburg.
You can hear the entire fourth quarter from Eagle 99.3’s live broadcast of the South Dearborn vs. East Central game on our Soundbytes page. We will also re-air the unlikely comeback on the Eagle 99.3 High School Sports Hour this Wednesday, January 26 at 6:00 p.m.