Gallatin County"s magic pixie dust finally wore of.
The Hawks, who had pulled off upsets of No. 7 Massac County and No. 2 Fairfield, nearly turned the trick for a third time, but were unsuccessful in a 37-36 loss to Eldorado at the EHT Wednesday afternoon.
The two teams combined for 17 lead changes and 10 ties in the second meeting of the season between the two schools. Eldorado had a previous December 2 encounter, where the Eagles posted a 47-44 overtime victory.
Wednesday"s game was headed there as well.
After Braden Attebury gave Eldorado a 37-34 lead with 23.5 seconds to play, Gallatin County"s Seth Ramsey was fouled on the other end in his 3-point attempt. The senior guard went to the line, making the first two, missing the last and putting an end to any threat the Hawks had of playing in their first EHT championship game since losing to Harrisburg in 2012.
Eldorado head coach Josh Bradley said the win came down to doing the little things, the ones that might go unnoticed to the average fan.
"Boxing out, take care of the ball, be strong when you go to the hole, the 50/50 balls. The small things that probably don"t make the box score and aren"t pretty. When you play a team like Gallatin County, who is going to slow the tempo down, you have to execute when you have opportunities and I didn"t think we did a very good job of that early. We kept our composure and did a better job of that in the third and fourth quarter and gave ourselves a chance to win."
Ethan Partridge had the lone double-digit performance for Eldorado, netting 10, on a night when the Eagles shot 15-of-27 from the field, 3-of-8 from 3-point range and going 4-of-10 at the free throw line.
Ramsey also had the lone double-figure day for the Hawks, pouring in a game-high 22 points, 12 of which came in the second half, including 10 points in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks went 13-for-27 shooting and made just 1-of-10 treys, while going 9-of-16 from the charity stripe.
Bradley noted the Hawks" tempo is what has made them such a difficult opponent in this tournament.
"They"re going to lull you to sleep and maybe not even so much that, because you have to be engaged, but that style wears you out on defense. You have to work so hard on for a minute and a half, two and a half minutes on defense before they take a shot and it just wears you out. Now, you"re wanting to rest, so you walk the ball up the floor and it"s just tough to play against that kind of effort."
Carmi-White County 61, Gallatin County 40
In the third place game, Carmi-White County"s size, coupled with Gallatin County"s exhaustion took its tool as the Hawks claimed fourth place after falling 61-40.
"I"m exhausted and so are they," Gallatin County head coach Doug Miller said. "Jake Simon is strong as an ox, Black is strong and their size … we guarded Eldorado"s guys phenomenal (Wednesday). I don"t know if exhaustion is an excuse or a factor, but our guys our gutted. They played their hearts out and when you have to guard someone that is six inches taller than you and can bench press 80 more pounds than you can, it"s going to take its toll. It was a successful tournament for us."
In the loss to CWC, Audie Goebel had a team-high 11 points, while Ramsey and Aaron Walters both chipped in with seven. Luis Rubio finished with four, while Robbie Prince and Trevor Duvall both had three points. Lucas Reeder tossed in two points for the Hawks.
Eldorado 11 09 05 12 — 37
Gallatin County 09 11 04 12 — 36
Eldorado: Meredith 2 0-0 6, Oglesby 0 0-2 0, Partridge 4 2-3 10, Traxler 2 0-0 4, Attebury 2 2-2 7, Kasiar 2 0-2 4, May 3 0-1 6. Totals: 15 4-10 37
Gallatin County: Ramsey 7 7-12 22, Prince 2 0-0 2, Goebel 3 1-2 7, Duvall 1 0-0 2, Rubio 0 1-2 1. Totals: 13 9-16 36
3-point FG: EHS 3 (Meredith 2, Attebury), GCHS 1 (Ramsey). Fouls: EHS 16, GCHS 14.