PURCELL — Someday, and soon, Plainview will be ready for the Big House.
But it was not Saturday, as the Indians (23-5) dropped a bitter and heartbreaking 56-50 overtime decision to Lindsay in Purcell that ended Plainview's season in the Class 3A Area II consolation final.
After a loss to Millwood Friday, Plainview entered the contest with the path very clear: win or go home.
And in a game that rose above the stage it was played on, Plainview and Lindsay (21-8) swapped titanic blows in a physical, intense, back-and-forth affair that left the standing-room-only crowd gasping for air at every turn.
Over the course of the final quarter and overtime, the lead switched hands multiple times, both squads playing with the desperate intensity of a team that would refuse to go down.
And while the Indians came up short, Plainview coach Andy Bloodworth had nothing but pride for the effort his squad showed in the final game of a remarkable year for the Indians.
"This team rose above and beyond what anybody expected of them," Bloodworth said.
Sophomore Hayden Hunt scored 22 points to lead Plainview, part of a spectacular effort that capped a year of revelation for the younger members of the Indians. Freshmen Megan Shelton (13 points) and Rebecca Wright (10 points) also played crucial roles for Plainview in the game, just as they had all year long.
"The young ones will learn from this," Bloodworth said.
Bloodworth also credited the leadership of his seniors, Jourdan Weatherford and Taryn Callender.
"Like I've said from the get go, you can't do this without the senior leadership they've showed this year," Bloodworth said. "Every day, they drove intensity and led this team."
The Indians led in the closing minutes of both regulation and overtime, but several crucial mistakes, including turnovers and missed free throws, proved costly.
They are the small things, the errors, that eat and drive the ones who will return next year.
"Hopefully this lights a fire, to where they never want this to happen again," Bloodworth said. "Over the summer, hopefully this is one of those things that makes them want to go to the gym and work on drills instead of hanging out with their friends.
"You need to lose games like that to know how to win them."