Beavercreek used timely free-throw shooting in a GWOC National East game on Friday to beat Springfield 70-69 in a GWOC National East boys basketball game at Ed Zink Fieldhouse.
Evan Saylor, a 6-1 guard, made a foul shot with .9 seconds left in overtime to give the Beavers the lead. Beavercreek partially tipped Springfield’s inbounds pass to secure the win, and its students stormed the floor to celebrate as Saylor ran into the crowd to hug fans.
“He’s come a long way the last two years,” Beavercreek coach Mark Hess said of Saylor. “He’s starting to fill a void we didn’t know we had. He was the best shooter in the gym tonight. It’s a good way to do it; it’s the kind of stuff you dream of as a kid.
The foul shot came moments after it appeared Springfield had won. Leonard Taylor made a put-back off the glass after a missed 3-pointer, but the basket was negated by a foul that occurred before the shot.
The Wildcats (1-1) had beaten Beavercreek (3-0) five times in the last two seasons, and Hess said the win is a sign of how far the team has come.
“It shows all the hard work we’ve put in,” Hess said. “There’s a lot of guys that have invested a lot of time and a lot of sweat in the gym. I’m just happy to see it pay off for them. This is a huge win for us against one of the best teams in southwest Ohio.”
Cedric Baldwin led Beavercreek with 22 points, while Jon Alessandro scored 19 points and unofficially brought down 10 rebounds. Saylor finished with 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Danny Davis led Springfield with 25, while Michael McKay scored 21.
Springfield’s Michael Wallace hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation to tie the game 62-62. The teams exchanged baskets for much of the overtime period. Saylor hit a 3-pointer with about 1:30 left to cut a Springfield lead to 68-67. The Wildcats made a free throw to go up by two, but Alessandro scored a few seconds later to tie the game. After Springfield’s potential game-winning basket was called no good, Saylor won the game at the free-throw line.
Beavercreek led by one at the end of the third quarter, and the game stayed tight. Springfield coach Isiah Carson was called for a technical foul apparently for being out of the coaches’ box with 1:11 left, and Alessandro made 1-of-2 free-throw attempts to give Beavercreek a 3-point lead. Baldwin hit a layup on the following possession to give Beavercreek a 61-56 lead, but Davis followed with a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left to pull Springfield within two points.
Beavercreek made one foul shot to go up by three, then Wallace’s 3-pointer sent it to overtime.