VANDALIA — One area team coughed up too many turnovers for their coach’s liking and lost, while another dug deep to rally to a win, Wednesday night at the Butler High School Student Activities Center.
Beavercreek’s Adam Duvall hit two free throws with 1.2 seconds left in the Beavers’ game with West Carrollton to give his team a come-from-behind 64-63 win.
Beavers coach Steve Pittman called the play with 3.1 seconds left on the game clock.
“Taxing. Tiresome. Both teams came to play,” Pittman said. “I just think we showed some intestinal fortitude in those last few minutes to pull this win out like that.
“And Duvall, he’s a 90-percent free-throw shooter. He’s the guy you really want on the line at that time … It worked out in our favor.”
On a set play from the right baseline near the basket, Duvall took an inbounds pass from senior guard Yousef Saleh and drove into the lane where he was mauled by a pair of West Carrollton defenders.
He appeared calm as he stepped to the free-throw line and nailed them both.
West Carrollton had one last-gasp try at scoring a go-ahead bucket, but Stanley Shivers’ half-court try fell short.
“I think it was a pretty good designed play for us to get him the ball. And he didn’t settle, because he could’ve bounced back out and taken a jump shot, but he didn’t settle. He got to the basket, pump faked and got the contact, then went up and made those free throws,” Pittman said of Duvall’s heroics.
Duvall scored 15 of his game-best 25 points in the fourth quarter. Saleh finished with 14 points, and Mali Harris-Strayhorn scored nine to lead the second-seeded Beavers to the win.
Sophomore Cole McCandless led the Pirates with 22 points, Sam Walker scored 14, and the other Pirate in double-figure scoring was Austin Jones with 12.
Beavercreek (15-9) will now advance to take on No. 6-seed Springfield (12-12), a 75-52 winner over Xenia in Wednesday’s first game in Vandalia.
The Wildcats will take on Beavercreek for the sectional crown at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 at Butler High.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.