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CLIFTON -- Paxton-Buckley-Loda’s Patrick “Rocky” Brown went into the three-point contest hoping to extend his senior season.
He was almost able to do so, knocking down eight 3-pointers to finish in a four-way tie with Watseka's Jake Lyznicki and Austin Hasselbring as well as Momence’s Justin Roberson for the fourth – and final – qualifying spot.
Brown tied with Hasselbring and Roberson with three treys in the tiebreaking round. On his ninth attempt of the tiebreaker, Lyznicki sank his fourth shot from beyond the arc to advance to sectionals.
“I knew after he made a pretty good amount of them before that I was probably going to be gone,” Brown said. “I was just thinking in my head, ‘I hope he wouldn’t make it,’ but he did, and congrats to him. It was a good experience to have actually gone this far, though.”
Brown said he was surprised at how far he reached in the three-point contest.
“Not being an actual 3-point shooter and making them was actually really good,” Brown said. “It felt good to get in the tiebreaker and everything. It was my senior year, and it was pretty awesome to almost go into sectionals. It was pretty fun.”
Similar to Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley's Reese Simpson -- who advanced to sectionals by draining 10 3-pointers -- Brown represents a Ford County-based team that got bounced from regionals prior to the three-point contest. Still, Brown said, he had a good experience with playing for PBL.
“It’s hard how we ended it, but just playing with the guys I did this year was awesome,” Brown said. “It was a good experience this year even though there were only two seniors and it was all juniors that were starting. They were a big part, and I’m glad I played with them.”
The Panthers’ Vaughn Gentzler and Axl Denault made seven 3-pointers while Kyler Swanson made three from beyond the arc.