Gallatin County and Crab Orchard are no strangers when it comes to the Greater Egyptian Conference title game.
Gallatin County gave Doug Miller his first GEC title when the Hawks upset Crab Orchard last year and that was the Hawks" fourth title game in a five year span.
On the other side, The Trojans were in their fourth straight championship game Saturday at SIC, with titles in 2015 and 2011 and have been in the finals six of the last seven years.
Saturday, the two squared off and it was a second half comeback by Crab Orchard that propelled them to a 73-59 victory in front of a packed house at Deaton Gymnasium.
Gallatin County jumped out to a 15-12 lead and held what seemed to be a commanding 32-20 lead at halftime.
Crab Orchard flipped the script in the second half, outscoring Gallatin County 14-7 in the third quarter to take a 44-39 lead and outscored the Hawks 29-20 in the games final eight minutes, where the game got out of hand as the Hawks were forced to send Crab Orchard to the free throw line 26 times. The Trojans finished 23-of-32 at the line in the game.
Gallatin County head coach Doug Miller said his team"s philosophy is to play smart and play hard. The trials and tribulations that occurred in the second half stem from what the head coach said were not playing smart.
"We didn"t guard like a normal Gallatin County team guards," Miller said. "Of course, we missed Robbie Princes defense. Robbie is just one of those un-sung guys that can guard really well, so yeah, we missed that. Even though we didn"t guard our best, the effort was there. We played hard, we just didn"t play as smart as I would have liked or as fundamentally sound on defense as I would have liked.
"As bad as we played on defense, if we make a layup here or a free throw there and get a stop on the other end, we are in this ballgame at the end.
The Trojans (20-1) put three players in double figures and just four in the score book as Caleb Vaughn had a co-game-high 29 points, while Cameron Stephens scored 23 points. Stephens account for seven of Crab Orchard"s ten 3-pointers on the night. Levi Vinson tacked on 12 and McKager Ferrell netted nine.
Seth Ramsey shared high scoring honors with Vaughn as the senior scored 29 points. Aaron Walters also finished in double figures, finishing with 14 points.
Audie Goebel netted nine for Gallatin County, while Luis Rubio finished with four points and Dawson Hish tacked on three points.
Galatia 62, NCOE 56
Galatia claimed the third place title of the GEC Tournament, knocking off Norris City-Omaha-Enfield 62-56.
Devyn Verbeck had a game-high 24 for the Bearcats, while Luke Lawrence and Austin Stevens each scored 12 points for Galatia. Kody Matthews and Will Pullman both had six points. Austin Pritchett tossed in two points.
Carrier Mills 71, Hardin County 61
Carrier Mills-Stonefort rallied to win the consolation championship, beating Hardin County 71-61.
Justice Hill scored 24 points for the Wildcats, while Brody Walker also finished in double figures, pouring in 20 points.
Carrier Mills trailed 21-14 after one quarter of play and limped into the locker room, trailing 38-33. CMSF regrouped in the second half and outscored Hardin County 16-11 to tie the game at 49-all before winning by 10.
Michael Dann covers prep and college sports for the Harrisburg Daily Register and Eldorado Daily Journal. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.