by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
FRANKFORT — Westfall held Adena scoreless for the final six minutes of regulation on the way to beating the Warriors 47-46 in overtime.
“To win on a night when it’s not going you’re way for pretty much the whole night — nothing really went our way until Brody hit a three-pointer with nine seconds left, we didn’t play our best offensively,” Westfall coach Christian Meister said. “Our defense shows up every night and travels. To start three in-a-row on the road and we go tomorrow on the road, our defense is going to travel and that’s what we’ve got to hang our hats on.”
The Mustangs (2-1) needed that defense to wear down the Warriors, who were coming off a double-overtime loss against Circleville the night before.
“I’ve been telling everyone all summer that I think Adena is going to be really, really good,” Meister said. “You saw them go blow-for-blow with a really athletic Circleville team last night just because they’re so athletic and they take you out of things you want to do.”
Adena had an 11-5 lead after the first quarter, was up 20-18 at halftime and scored nine of the last 11 points of the third quarter to be up 32-29.
A pair of free throws from Joedy Ater with 6:19 left in regulation gave Adena a 38-32 lead.
Westfall whittled away at the lead with Jerry Layton hitting two of four free throws, Brody Clark scoring with 2:22 left and then Layton tied the game with a basket with 1:49 left in the fourth.
Neither team could get a shot to fall in the final moments of regulation, sending the game to an extra four minutes.
Westfall struck first with Casey Cline converting a three-point play with 2:51 left. Adena answered with a basket from Easton Henness 20 seconds later.
A minute later Adena went on top with a three-pointer from Caleb Osborne and the Mustangs answered back with a three from Cline with 1:05 on the clock for a 44-43 Westfall edge.
Ater put Adena back on top with a basket at the 40-second mark.
Coming out of a timeout, the Mustangs worked the ball looking for their opportunity and Blaec Bugher fed Brody Clark in the corner who hit a three-pointer with 11 seconds left.
Adena called a timeout, then got the ball up the floor and got it to Ater who’s three-pointer was off the mark, but Andrew Vickers was fouled on the rebound with .1 seconds showing on the clock. He stepped to the line for a one-and-one with an opportunity to send the game to a second overtime. He hit the first one but missed on the second.
“It would have been really easy to pack it in when it was 38-32 with thee minutes left, our best scorers have shot like crap and we haven’t played well,” Meister said. “Casey comes out and hits a huge one, Brody comes out and hits a huge one. They just stepped up and I couldn’t be more proud.”
With six in overtime, Cline led the Mustangs with 15 points, Clark had 13 and Layton put in 11.
Ater led all scorers with 16.
Strong defensive efforts from returning post player Seth Gifford and varsity newcomers Henry Barnes and Layton were keys to holding off the Warriors.
“We didn’t know what we were going to get out of Henry and Jerry — shoot, Henry and Jerry bring it every day. They’re our two most consistent kids,” Meister said. “Henry had four fouls and he’s a very important piece for us and Jerry stepped right in. Jerry might have been the player of the game tonight. He got huge offensive rebounds in overtime. He struggles a little bit at the free throw line, but to split every one one for two was big for us. It might not be big to the naked eye, but it was big”
And, even on a night when he didn’t show up in the box score, Meister said the effort from Bugher drove the Mustangs to the win.
“Blaec Bugher is our point guard, he drives the engine and he’s the head of our snake,” he said. “We only take him out for a little bit here and there because we can’t function without Blaec Bugher. I’m so proud of his mental toughness.
“I tell him every day that he might not be the guy who is going to light up the stat sheet, but he is our most important player.”
The Mustangs are on the road Saturday heading to Highland County to take on Lynchburg-Clay. The freshman game tips at 4:30.
Westfall 47, Adena 46 OT
Westfall — Brody Clark 5-0-13, Casey Cline 5-3-15, Henry Barnes 1-0-2, Seth Gifford 3-0-6, Jeremiah Layton 4-3-11. Three-point goals — Clark (3), Cline (2). Total — 18-6-47.
Adena — Easton Henness 2-0-4, Andrew Vickers 3-1-7, Davis Kerns 2-0-4, Joedy Ater 6-2-16, Bryson Smith 4-1-9, Caleb Osborne 2-0-6. Three-point goals — Ater (2), Smith, Osborne (2). Total — 19-3-46.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 OT F
Westfall 5 13 11 9 9 47
Adena 11 9 12 6 8 46