If the sectional isn’t the best night in high school basketball, the region semifinal night is – at least if your team won.
On a night of upsets, Watertown’s boys followed the script by rallying from behind to oust Livingston Academy 60-50 in the Region 4-AA semifinal.
Earlier, York Institute upset District 8-AA champion Upperman 52-47, setting up the third- and fourth-place district finishers in the region final at 7 p.m. Thursday. The winner will play host to a sectional at 7 p.m. Monday while the loser goes to Chattanooga to take on either Brainerd or Howard at 6 p.m. CST.
After spotting Livingston an early 4-0 lead, Watertown roared back with eight straight points and took a 15-6 lead into the second quarter.
But spotty shooting by the Purple Tigers, who missed all 10 three-point attempts in the first half, fell behind in the second quarter as Livingston used a 22-4 flurry in the period to go up 28-19 by halftime.
The start of the second half didn’t go much better for Watertown. But following a timeout tongue-lashing by coach Matt Bradshaw, the Tigers roared back to catch the Wildcats 36-36 as Jared Tomson rattled home a jumper from the lane with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
Livingston held a pair of two-point leads early in the fourth, which otherwise was dominated by Watertown. Ray Quan Verge exploded for a layup to pull the Purple Tigers into a 40-40 tie and sank one of his two second-half three-pointers to put them ahead to stay as he, Jared Tomson and Nathan Fish combined to hit 9 of 12 free throws down the stretch.
Verge totaled 25 points while Tomson totaled 14 and Heath Price 13. Fish finished with four in the fourth, including a breakaway layup following a Brandon Allison steal which sealed the Tigers’ 20th triumph of the season against 12 setbacks. Allison and Usher tallied two points apiece. Price also pulled down nine rebounds and passed for three assists.