Traijon Smith had about as good of a look as a shooter can ask for.
The Du Quoin senior guard pulled up, uncontested, from the left elbow with about 4 seconds to play in what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer, only to see his shot rim out in a 56-53 loss to Eldorado in the opening night of the Arrowhead Classic at Johnston City High School.
Eldorado and Du Quoin played through 11 lead changes and just one tie Monday night as the Eagles overcame an eight-point deficit in the third quarter to storm back in the second half and hold off a late rally by the Indians.
The Eagles (8-9) grabbed an early 16-14 first quarter lead, where there were seven lead changes in the first eight minutes.
Du Quoin (11-7) grabbed control in the second quarter, leading by as many as eight, 26-18. But Eldorado continued to chip away, getting as close as three before DQ went into the locker room with a 33-25 advantage.
The Indians had another eight-point lead, this time 35-27 early in the third, but a barrage of buckets gave Eldorado a 40-39 lead with one minute to go as the Eagles held a 44-41 lead going into the final eight minutes.
Down the stretch, Eldorado went 7-of-14 from the free throw line and 13-of-24 in the game, while Du Quoin was 6-of-11 and 8-for-17.
The Eagles got a team-high 21 points from Parker Price, including five in the fourth quarter, while Josh Owens tacked on 13 points and Gage Heath rounded out the double figure scoring with 11 points.
Boston Bradley just missed out on double digits, netting nine for the Eagles, while Brock Cantrell tossed in three points.
Traijon Smith led all scorers with 23 points, while big man Maurice Washington and Eli Maynor each had 11 points for the Indians.
Jaden Smith and Gage Green each tacked on three points, while Cameron Hugya had two first quarter points.
Eldorado plays Anna-Jonesboro on Tuesday night, while Christopher takes on Du Quoin. On Thursday, Eldorado plays Christopher at 6 p.m., while Du Quoin takes on Johnston City in the 7:30 p.m. game Friday. On Saturday, the tournament concludes with DQ playing Anna-Jonesboro at 6 p.m. and Eldorado taking on Johnston City at 7:30 p.m.
Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.