MONROE CITY, Mo. -- Brandon Kracht had a plan Friday night.
"I just always got to the corner. I was always ready to shoot," said Kracht, a sophomore guard on the Clark County boys basketball team. "I kept on thinking it was going to go in all night."
When it mattered most, Kracht didn't miss.
He buried a 3-pointer from the right corner with 2 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in overtime to put the Indians, ranked sixth in Class 3, ahead for good in a 73-70 Clarence Cannon Conference victory over Monroe City.
With the score tied at 69, Kracht took the pass from Zeb Riney and hit nothing but net.
"It felt great out of my hands," said Kracht, who scored seven points. "I knew it was in as soon as I let it go."
Neither team converted another field goal. Antwuan Battle split a pair of free throws with 1:53 left to pull the Panthers (12-2, 1-1 CCC) within two points, then Kracht split a pair with 10 seconds left to push the lead back to three for the Indians (12-0, 2-0 CCC).
Blake Hays' game-tying attempt from the left corner at the buzzer was long and bounced off the rim.
Kracht's shot came after a rally by Monroe City at the end of regulation. Clark County led by as many as eight points with five minutes left, and held a 65-60 advantage with 33 seconds remaining after Riney made a pair of free throws.
The Panthers got to within two points when Zach Osborn made a laying and drew contact, converting a three-point play to make it 65-63 with 16 seconds left.
After Cole Kirchner threw the ball out of bounds in the face of full-court pressure on Clark County's next possession, C.E. Talton drove the lane and kicked it to Dalton McAfee for a wide-open layin that tied the game with four seconds left. Chandler Bevans got a shot off that beat the buzzer, but it was no good.
"I was really proud of our effort. We found a way to come back and force overtime against a very good team," Monroe City coach Brock Edris said. "I thought we competed very well."
The Indians were never concerned about losing their cool despite letting the lead slip away late.
"You don't really have to tell this group anything. We needed to play four more minutes, and that was basically it," Clark County coach Adam Rung said. "It's a poised group. They were focused, and it showed tonight."
Clark County built its lead thanks in large part to Kirchner, who finished with a career-high 32 points, including 10 points in the second quarter and 16 points in the third quarter. He had 10 points during the final four minutes of the third as part of the Indians' 14-2 run that flipped a 42-36 deficit into a 50-44 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
"When I start making threes, that's when I feel the best. Then the other shots start coming," said Kirchner, who made six 3-pointers. "I was feeling really good. Then everyone's energy gets up, and it helps on both sides of the floor."
Talton finished with 30 points for the Panthers, while Osborn added 13 points and Hays had 10. Bevans finished with 17 points, and Riney had 11 points.
Clark County 73, Monroe City 70
CLARK COUNTY (12-0, 2-0 CCC)
Riney 3 4-4 11, Kracht 2 1-2 7, Sommers 0 0-0 0, Plenge 0 0-0 0, Kirchner 13 0-0 32, Mack 0 0-0 0, Bevans 7 2-2 17, Norton 2 0-0 4, Forquer 1 0-1 2. Totals 28 7-9 73.
MONROE CITY (12-2, 1-1 CCC)
Talton 9 7-10 30, Hays 4 0-0 10, Osborn 6 1-2 13, Battle 2 1-2 6, Kendrick-O'Bryan 1 0-0 3, Stark 1 0-0 2, McAfee 1 0-0 2, Ryan 2 0-0 4, Greiman 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 9-14 70.
Clark Co. 14 13 23 15 8--73
Monroe City 18 15 11 21 5--70
3-point field goals--Clark County 10 (Kirchner 6, Kracht 2, Riney, Bevans), Monroe City 9 (Talton 5, Hays 2, Battle, Kendrick-O'Bryan). Fouls--Clark County 17, Monroe City 16. Fouled out--None.