After seeing his potential game-winning three-pointer rim out at the end of regulation, Olentangy Berlin’s Adrian Stone wasn’t about to let the chance to win the game escape him in overtime.
The senior, with his team down 52-51 in the final seconds of Wednesday’s non-league showdown against host Delaware Hayes, was fouled driving to the hoop with 1.8 ticks left in the extra session. He calmly converted both of the ensuing free throws to complete a second-half comeback and lift the Bears to a thrilling 53-52 win.
Both teams played well in stretches, but it was Berlin that got it done down the stretch. The Bears, who scored 11 of the game’s first 15 points, trailed 43-29 heading into the fourth after being outscored 19-10 in the second quarter and 15-8 in the third.
A Derek Goodman hoop made it a 40-29 game late in the third, but the Pacers’ Anthony Wilson drained a deep triple just before the buzzer to extend the lead to double digits, 43-29, heading into the fourth.
Berlin got within striking distance when Mathios Abenet cashed in from three-point land, making it a 43-37 game before Noah Gamble scored inside to tighten things up a bit more.
Another Abenet bucket tied things up with 3:22 left and Gamble scored again to give his team its first lead since the first half.
The Bears stretched their edge to three when Gamble hit a pair of free throws with 32.3 seconds left, but Hayes’ Jesse Burris, who finished with a team-high 15 points, stroked a step-back three with 13 seconds left to force overtime.
The extra session featured just seven combined points, so every hoop was huge. Jason Inbody, who poured in a game-best 19 points in the win, scored the first hoop of OT.
A Burris put-back bucket with one minute left gave his team a 52-51 lead, but Stone’s heroics from the charity stripe flipped the script in the final seconds.
Abenet backed Inbody with 14 points while the Bears got six apiece from Goodman and Gamble.
Wilson joined Burris in double figures for the Pacers, scoring 11 points in the setback, while Hezekiah Russell and Jayson Enke finished with six points each.
Next up, Berlin (3-5) will travel to Marysville for a league showdown against the Monarchs on Friday while Hayes (8-3) will host Canal Winchester Tuesday night.
Nick Carlson scored a game-high 22 points and Grant Spicer had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead Ohio Wesleyan to an 89-83 North Coast Athletic Conference win over host Hiram Wednesday night at Price Gymnasium.
Tied at 38 at the break, the Bishops (6-6, 3-2 NCAC) outscored the Terriers (3-8, 0-5 NCAC) 51-45 in the second half to seal the deal.
Henry Hinkle also had a nice game for OWU, finishing with 12 points and five assists, while Kevin Beans, Jr. led Hiram with 18 points in the setback.
Ohio Wesleyan (10-3, 3-1 NCAC) started fast and never looked back, parlaying a 41-18 halftime lead into a lopsided 72-45 North Coast Athletic Conference win over visiting Hiram (3-9, 0-5 NCAC) Wednesday night at Branch Rickey Arena.
Cierra Joiner poured in a team-leading 17 points to go with six rebounds while Kasey Schipfer finished with 12 points and seven boards. Molly Delaney and Kelsey Wolfe also finished in double figures, closing with 11 and 10 points, respectively.