DALLAS -- Dallas Lincoln star and McDonald’s All-American LeBryan Nash saved his team’s season Wednesday.
Nash hit a 3-pointer as regulation expired to force overtime against Dallas South Oak Cliff in their regional quarterfinal and had a career-high 43 points to lead the Tigers to an 85-78 double-overtime win.
Lincoln moves on to the regional semifinals Friday in Garland.
Leading 59-57, SOC guard Exzavia Seaton made one out of two free throws, leaving the door open for Nash to take the inbounds pass the length of the floor and fire up a running 3 in traffic to keep the game alive.
In that clutch moment, Nash’s motivation was simple.
“This is my senior year, I’ve got to win a state championship. All the great players won a state championship, so I’ve got to win one. My teammates believe in me, so I took that shot. I knew it had a chance to go in, so I took it and it went in.”
Nash also has a believer in head coach Leonard Bishop.
“When you’ve got a guy like LeBryan, you know he comes up with big shots and in crunch time he always comes through for us and he did a great job,” Bishop said.
With just over a minute left in the game, Nash was at the free throw line with 38 points on the board next to his number. After hitting the first one, he consulted his teammates then gave the scoreboard a glance before sinking the 40th point. With a smile after the game, Nash claimed he didn’t know the exact number of points he had tallied but was filled in toward the end of the game by his teammates.
“I knew I had a lot of points, but I didn’t really care,” Nash said. “My teammate told me, ‘You’ll hit 40 on the free throws,’ when I hit it.”
Bishop said the team’s motto through out the season has been “Motivated to win,” and throughout the game Nash chanted the mantra to his teammates, aimed not only to win that game, but the ultimate prize for his senior year.
“I really want to win a state championship. I really want my team to be happy. They believe in me and they believe in the All-American stuff.”