By ANDRES MARTINEZ
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
MENDON, Ill. -- The Unity boys basketball team had everything going right for it through three quarters Friday night.
Lane Davis was controlling the post for the Mustangs and scoring seemingly at will en route to a 27-point outing.
Then Payson Seymour junior Cody Hildebrand took over for the Indians in the final quarter, scoring 10 of his game-high 28 points in the final frame to help the Indians prevail 46-44.
"We played soft for about two and a half quarters," Payson coach Brian Rea said. "We finally started to play our style of basketball, and we ended up making some plays when we needed to."
The Indians trailed at half and through most of the third quarter but gained momentum and tied it at 31 with 10.2 seconds left late in the third.
Davis was fouled and made two free throws with 2.3 seconds left in the third quarter, and Payson threw the ensuing inbound cross court. It didn't touch anyone, and Unity capitalized and made a basket as time expired to take a 35-31 lead.
Payson opened the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 36-35 lead. The lead changed several times in the fourth quarter, and made the last minute a grind to the end.
With a minute left, Unity had possession, and Payson carried a 43-42 lead. The Mustangs missed a shot, and Hildebrand responded with a runner to give the Indians a three-point lead.
Davis countered with 45 seconds left and cut the Indians' lead to one with a basket. Unity's Andrew Doyle stole the ball from the Indians with 22 seconds to play, and traveled, but Reed Bentzinger stole the ensuing inbound.
After a timeout, Will Klusmeyer traveled, giving the ball back to Payson. The Mustangs fouled, and Hildebrand made the second of two free throws, giving Payson a two-point lead.
"I wasn't worried (after missing the first free throw), because I knew if I ride the next one with confidence, I'll knock it down," Hildebrand said.
Unity's Thomas Donley had a look down low on the following possession but missed a layup.
"I thought we got a good look, and got good execution on it," Unity coach Keith Carothers said.
The Mustangs got another life when Payson stepped out of bounds on the rebound with four seconds left.
Davis got the ball at the end, but forced a shot up that missed.
"I was just hoping to throw it up and to get a foul," Davis said.