Wolverines win a thriller in overtime
Senior guard Josey lays in the winning points as time expires
For all the intensity, you would have thought it was a playoff game.
It was actually the first game of the season, one in which Woodland Hills edged Ambridge in overtime, 67-65, in the Midland Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament Friday at Geneva College.
Woodland Hills led a tight contest for most of the game but Ambridge forced overtime after making 7 of 10 3-pointers in the second half (4 of 8 in the first half). Wolverines senior guard Tre’Mon Josey, who had 14 points, scored the game-winner on a last-second layup in overtime.
“I’m just trying to get my composure,” Woodland Hills coach Odell Miller said after the game. “We had a couple turnovers down there at the end. We kind of lost our composure a little bit. I think there were 25 seconds left, we wanted one shot, we went to the basket with too much time left, so I’m just over there like ‘OK, we need some defensive stops.’ And the way the game ended, anybody could have won that game. I don’t even know what happened. I’ll take the win.”
Wolverines senior guard Keandre Bowles led all scorers with 27 points, to go with five rebounds, and senior forward Aaron Hilzendeger led Ambridge with 25 points, to go with six rebounds.
Two 3-pointers by Hilzendeger tied the score at 57-57 with 3:22 left in the fourth quarter. A layup by senior Ambridge forward Omarri Flannigan, who finished with 12 points, tied the score at 59-59 with less than two minutes to play. Ambridge held the ball and called a timeout at 3.4 seconds to set up a try for a game-winner, but Woodland Hills stole the ball and airballed a halfcourt shot at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
With the game tied at 65-65, Woodland Hills senior Jaden Willis stole the ball and fed it to Josey, who scored as time expired in overtime.
“Just play and get it done, whatever it takes to get a ‘W’,” Josey said. “That’s all I was thinking.”
Josey had a steal and layup to open up the third quarter, later adding a floater to make it 34-28. Two 3-pointers by Josey stretched the Wolverine’s lead to 42-33 with 2:46 to play, their biggest lead of the game, but the Bridgers rallied back, a corner 3 by senior forward Eric Chambers making it 44-42 as the third quarter wound down.
“He hit, what was it, two or three from the corner, I looked at some film and stuff, but he’s one that I didn’t account for,” Miller said of Chambers, who came off the bench to hit three 3’s in regulation, finishing with 11 points and 3 rebounds. “That was big for them, not so great for us.”
Bowles made a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter, but Chambers responded with a 3-pointer of his own. A 3 by Hilzendeger gave the Bridgers a 48-47 lead with 6:30 to play in the fourth, with the teams exchanging the lead for the rest of regulation.
“It was miscommunications on defense, basically,” Josey said of losing the 9-point lead. “We locked it in, got our switches right, execution, that’s all it was.”
Next up in the tournament, both teams will play at Lincoln Park Saturday, with Ambridge facing Beaver Falls at 6:30 p.m. and Woodand Hills playing Lincoln Park at 8 p.m.
Ambridge’s Enire Bowens goes up for a basket against Woodland Hills’ Gavin Judson and Raelon Robertson in the Midland Tournament at Geneva College Friday, Dec. 7 in Beaver Falls. Bowens and Ambridge dropped the first game of the season, a 67-65 loss in overtime.