BULLARD -- Tuesday's non-district finale victory at home just might have been the magic pill Bullard head coach Shane Chambless sought through a rough early season.

The Panthers edged a physical Van team, 61-59, in overtime for their third win of the season. Suddenly, it looks a lot brighter ahead of Friday's District 16-4A opener at Spring Hill.

"We have lacked confidence this year," Chambless said. "We scheduled hard early, that was my fault, and we just struggled to gain any confidence. We came in 2-12. We've played some good games, been in some games. We just haven't been able to pull many out. What we just did by pulling out that win is huge confidence wise."

Logan Lockwood puts up his first of two successful 3-point shots in Tuesday's overtime game.

Bullard (3-12) dictated the game nearly wire to wire. The squad erased a 1-0 Vandals lead 57 seconds into the meeting and never trailed again.

Never trailed being the key words.

The Vandals (10-10) went down two possessions at the 5:50 mark of the first quarter and trailed 26-20 at halftime. They got to within one possession four separate times in the second half before tying the game, 48-48 with 1:31 remaining in regulation. Then, they overcame a fifth one-possession situation on Logan Lockwood's 3-point prayer at the :06 mark.

Van shot 33 percent from the floor -- 22-of-65 -- through the 36-minute game but more than made up for it on the defensive side of the floor. Bullard connected on 23 of 50 shots and mostly did it outside the lane.

On a night where the Panthers always were one step ahead with a big counter shot, a loose ball win or a foul bailout, there certainly was a sinking feeling in the home stands that the fun ride had ended in regulation. It didn't help that Van's Holden Myers broke the ice in overtime following two offensive rebounds on the same possession.

But forward Trevor Johnson countered with a 3-pointer nine seconds later, drew two successful free throws Bullard's next possession and willed the team to a 56-53 lead.

The Panthers found their groove once again and closed the game always one big break ahead. Though it certainly helped that a Van player clanged one off the rim trying to complete an old fashioned 3-point play. That kept Bullard in front, 60-59, with 21 seconds left.

The Vandals were forced to commit a third and a fourth foul against the double bonus.

With five seconds left, after two missed Bullard free throws and a miss from the field by Van, Marquis Allen recorded his game-best 18th point on a free throw then bounced one off the backboard to kill the clock.

Van had to take a desperation shot from about 80 feet as the buzzer sounded.

Johnson's nine points put him second on Bullard's score sheet. He also tied for best in the team rebound department with eight alongside Colton Bowman.

Forward Isaiah Allred guided the Vandals with 15 points, a game-best 11 rebounds and a game-best three assists. Myers followed closely from his guard spot with 14 points.

Van shot 10-of-21 from the line. The Panthers went 12-for-22.

Bullard won in the total rebounds department, 38-30.

"We probably started the first three or four possessions where we gave up a few offensive rebounds," Chambless said. "After that, we didn't do that. We rebounded really well tonight, rebounding in key situations. Where we did struggle was on the free throw line. We've got to work on that. It has haunted us all year and we've got to get it fixed."

While Bullard battles Spring Hill on Friday, Van will be idle and begins District 14-4A play Tuesday at Emory Rains.

Trevor Johnson scored five points in overtime to help Bullard to its 61-59 victory.

Bullard 61, Van 59 (OT)

At Bullard High School

Van              10    10    13   18     8    --    59
Bullard         17     9      10   15   10   --   61
VAN (10-10) -- Isaiah Allred 15, Holden Myers 14, Rielly Krumvieda 8, Logan Lockwood 6, Connor Houston 5, Jake Hutchins 4, D.J. Dutten 3, Bray Doring 2, Brett Doring 2.
BULLARD (3-12) -- Marquis Allen 18, Trevor Johnson 17, Colton Bowman 9, Jake Searcy 7, Ty Crayton 6, Austin Reeves 4.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Van: Lockwood (2), Houston, Krumvieda, . BullardCrayton, Johnson, Searcy.