After a night full of precision and patient offense, it was Greenwood’s defense that made the play of the night.
Alex Fee blocked Dylan Whitney’s potential game-winning shot in the lane with less than five seconds to play in overtime Friday, giving the Gators a 64-63 win at Warren East.
“We just wanted to get something down in the paint,” Warren East coach Casey Simpson said. “If I had a timeout, I would have used it. I didn’t have any timeouts. We called something that they’re comfortable with that we’ve run 100 times and (Fee) got a piece of it.”
Greenwood (6-8 overall, 1-2 District 14) trailed by three with 1:34 remaining in regulation but battled back to tie it at 56 on a pair of Dylan DeWitt free throws with 30 seconds left. East’s Mason Lee missed a shot at the buzzer, sending the game into an extra session.
The Gators’ Trevor Stockton buried a right-corner 3-pointer after a one-minute possession to start the overtime, and the Gators never trailed again. Even after Brandon Walker knotted it back at 59 with a basket and free throw with 1:45 to go, DeWitt hit two more free throws and Edin Hasanovic scored on a fastbreak with 56 seconds left to make it 63-59.
The Raiders (11-4, 0-3) had one final shot after forcing a trap and travel with 7.8 seconds left. But Fee forced the block, and time ran out.
“They’ve been running the same lob all night, and we went over it – we didn’t guard it as well as I would’ve liked to all night long,” Greenwood coach Jason Stonebraker said. “We wanted to stay down and let (Fee) come over and help and just go straight up. (Fee) just finally did a great job and we talked about and talked about staying on the floor and waiting until the shot goes up and then going and getting the ball.”
Hasanovic finished with a game-high 19 points for Greenwood while DeWitt finished with 13 and Fee and Alex Schneller each finished with 10. The Raiders got 15 points from Lee, 11 from Walker and 10 out of Jaylin Barnett. East has now lost three of its last five games.
“Super frustrating,” Simpson said. “The kids have done everything we’ve asked them to do, and we happened to squeak one out like that against Barren (County) and lose one tonight.
“The only significant thing is it happened to be a district game. Now, we’ll just have to do it the hard way. You want to hold serve at home and I think when we got down, we were a little shocked and then once we reeled them back in and had that good third quarter, I was hoping we’d keep the lead, extend it and then pull away a little bit. Give them credit, they fought us tooth-and-nail.”
It looked as though early on the Raiders would be the team to beat.
East came fast out of the gates by going up 10-3, getting 3s from Barnett and Walker and a jumper in the lane from Marquise Jones. Slowly, Greenwood crept back in by going 11 of 12 from the free-throw line in the first period and cutting the deficit to 18-17.
Hasanovic gave the Gators their first lead of the night 37 seconds into the second quarter with a drive through the lane and three-point play to make it 20-18. East went up 22-20 with a Barnett putback and up 24-22 with a Barnett jumper from the left side, but that was the last lead the Raiders enjoyed.
DeWitt hit a bomb from the left wing to make it 25-24 GHS and Schneller scored four straight to make it 29-24.
Two more from DeWitt and a runner by Stockton gave the visitors a 33-24 lead going into the break. East scored just six points in the second quarter and went the final 4:08 without a point.
“We’ve went over the offensive stuff for about two weeks, and we still messed up some stuff tonight,” Stonebraker said. “As smart as we are and with the pieces that we have, we’ve got to be able to run some sets. We’re getting there.”
A Walker putback with 5:43 to go in the third broke a scoreless drought of 6:25 for East. Moments later, Mason Lee hit a 3 from the top of the key to cut it to 47-39. Greenwood just kept on rolling, though, going up 44-31 on a Hasanovic wide-open triple from the right wing.
East then ended the quarter on a 9-0 run thanks to a spinning layup through the lane by Dylan Whitney, a baseline runner from Antwan Gilbert, two more in the lane by Whitney and two Lee free throws.
That set up the climatic final frame.
Greenwood returns to action at 6:30 p.m. today when it hosts Todd County Central. East hosts Bowling Green on Jan. 24.
GHS 17 16 11 12 8 — 64
WEHS 18 6 16 16 7 — 63
GHS —Hasanovic 19, Dewitt 13, Fee 10, Schneller 10, Stockton 6, Sewell 4, Lewis 2
WEHS — Lee 15, Walker 11, Barnett 10, Whitney 9, Britt 8, Gilbert 6, Cardwell 2, Jones 2
Greenwood 67, Warren East 31 (girls)
Lauren Maupin scored 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and Rose Mary Jackson added 11 as the Lady Gators rolled to their first District 14 win of the season, a 67-31 romp at Warren East.
Greenwood (8-7, 1-2) never trailed and built a 14-point, first-quarter lead that was never threatened. East (2-10) dropped to 0-3 in district play and has lost 20 straight in league play.
The Lady Gators jumped to a 10-4 lead in the first after a Katie Douglas layup and a Maupin step-back 3-pointer from the right wing three minutes in.
Two minutes later, Maupin hit a 3 from the top of the key on a long inbounds pass and the Lady Gators were off and running. Riley Hartis scored four straight during what amounted to a 10-2 run to end the period – a period in which East managed just five points over the last 6:04.
Jackson scored the first six points of the second period to stretch the GHS lead to 26-6. Baylen Wardlow’s jumper from the left side with 4:27 to go in the half broke a Warren East scoreless drought of 5:35.
The Lady Gators went the final 2:17 of the first half without a point, which allowed East to cut it to 30-13 on a high-arching 3 out of the right corner from Cailyn Howard.
East scored the first four of the third, getting a runner in the lane from Erin Houchins and a putback from Summer Glass. Then Greenwood took off.
The Lady Gators scored the next nine and never looked back. Cassie Meador’s 3 from the left side with three minutes to go in the quarter made it a 42-18 game.
Greenwood hosts Todd County Central at 5 p.m. today. East hosts Bowling Green on Jan. 24.
GHS 20 10 19 18 — 67
WEHS 6 7 9 9 — 31
GHS — Maupin 23, Jackson 11, Hartis 9, Douglas 8, Meador 7, James 5, Collins 2, Rhodes 2
WEHS — Houchins 9, Bibb 6, Howard 5, Wardlow 4, Renfro 3, Glass 2, Akins 2