Boys basketball: Springfield outlasts Springboro in overtime

For the second straight season, the Springfield High School boys basketball team found a way to beat Springboro.

The Wildcats needed an extra four minutes to earn the victory.

Springfield held the Panthers scoreless in the overtime period en route to a 60-50 victory on Friday night at Springfield High School.

“It’s always good to come out with a win,” said Wildcats coach Isaiah Carson. “I think we need to come out and do a better job of flying around and executing. We’ll take it.”

Jalan Minney had 13 points for the Wildcats (3-4), including hitting five free throws in the overtime. Larry Stephens and Jeff Tolliver each scored 12 points for Springfield.

Noah Moser scored 18 points for Springboro (4-6), while Kahleel Trent scored 12 and Sam Feldman added 10.

“Every year we play them tough, but we just can’t get over the hump. We can’t find a way,” said Panthers coach Kevin Youker. “I don’t know when that’s going to come, but hopefully it comes soon.”

Last year, the Wildcats beat the Panthers 34-32 when Minney hit two free throws with 28 seconds remaining — after he was awarded an extra free throw due to noise interference.

“The Springboro games are always ugly,” Carson said.

Springboro led 44-42 midway through the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Moser. The Wildcats reclaimed the lead at 49-48 on a layup by Tolliver. Minney extended the lead to 50-48 by hitting one of two free throws.

With about 30 seconds remaining, Moser hit two free throws to tie the game at 50. Minney’s 15-foot jumper with about three seconds remaining rimmed out, sending the game to overtime.

The Wildcats outscored the Panthers 10-0 in the overtime to seal the win.

“I wish we played like that the whole game,” Carson said. “We did it when we needed it most, I have to give the kids credit for that. We’ve still got some work to do. We’re just not very good right now. Hopefully, we can get some urgency and continue to get better. … That’s the same execution and intensity we need the entire game. We’re still trying to figure that out.”

The Panthers slowed the pace of the game to counter the Wildcats’ up-tempo style, played a 2-3 zone. They were also able to handle Springfield’s full-court press.

“Offensively, we wanted to take care of the basketball, get good shots and if we made it or missed we were sprinting back to make sure they didn’t get layups,” Youker said. “They’re hard to beat when they’re making layups.”

The Panthers travel to Fairmont on Friday and then to Lakota West on Saturday.

“We’ve been battling some sickness just like everybody else has been,” Youker said. “Hopefully with two days off and a full week of practice we’ll be ready for Fairmont.”

Springfield plays three games in five days this week. They host Thurgood Marshall on Tuesday — the team’s last home game until Jan. 24. The Wildcats travel to Northmont on Friday and travel to Centerville on Saturday.

“We’ve got to keep working and keep getting better,” Carson said.

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