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Basketball: Denmark season ends in another OT heartbreaker
Denmark's Sean Patterson drives down the lane against Osborne during a Class 7A state tournament first-round game Wednesday at home. (Photo by Jay Rooney Photography)

The Denmark boys basketball team's undefeated home record and season came to an end on Wednesday against Osborne in the Class 7A state tournament opening round.

After trailing 43-28 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Danes regrouped and forced overtime. But No. 2 seed Denmark struggled to score in the extra session, losing 54-50 to third-seeded Osborne.

It marked the second straight year that the Danes bowed out of the state playoffs with an opening-round overtime loss at home.

Both teams took no time in getting their offense up and running, as they traded baskets. However, Denmark (16-12) scored on five straight possessions thanks to Chad Molloy, Vaughn Garcia, Stefan Davidov and Keinan McFarlande, allowing the hosts to get some breathing room.

Osborne's Akai Fleming struck again for a mid-range shot, as that seemed to be his go-to move, to retake the lead at 15-14. But Davidov got his second triple to fall in as good ball movement allowed him to get away from his defender for a 17-15 lead going into the second quarter.

It was evident Davidov was feeling himself from beyond the arc by firing back with another corner 3.

In the midst of Justin McCarter's journey to the rim, he saw Keshawn McPherson cutting down the baseline, and he passed the ball to him at the last minute to make the score. Fleming took his first 3-pointer thanks to Marquis Copney’s assist.

The Danes scored quickly after grabbing the inbounds pass. Patterson sped past his defender leaving him behind on his drive to the hoop.

The third quarter started with Davidov locating McFarlande, and he did the rest by putting his head down and muscling his way to the hoop for a bucket.

Through much of the third quarter, the Danes were struggling to put the basket in the hoop, and Osborne was building momentum. Davidov was cold from 3-point range, and McFarlande was forced to pass the ball due to Osborne's double team.

It didn’t help that the Danes were turning the ball over and giving Osborne easy fast-break points that sparked a 13-0 run. Davidov’s free throw snapped the cold streak for the only points Denmark scored in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, McFarlande went to the bench frustrated. A minute later, he stepped back onto the court by giving his team an energy boost. His first basket came from using a spin move on his defender and slamming the dunk home, then on the next offensive possession, he scored in the post.

That energy transfered to the defensive side of the ball. Osborne (17-12) had an easy path to the basket, but McFarlande tracked the ball for a block. Shortly after, McFarlande scored again in the paint.

Molloy did the heavy lifting in the final 20 seconds of regulation. He jumped in the passing lane for a steal and sent the game to OT tied at 48-all by knocking down a pair of free throws.

Denmark picked the wrong time for their offense to go cold, as Osborne got ahead 52-48 in overtime. It wasn't until 29.1 seconds on the clock that the Danes scored from Patterson’s tip-in. Christian Gary's free throws, though, put the game out of reach as the clock hit zero.