SYLVANIA — While Bowling Green survived 75-71 in overtime against Sylvania Southview, both teams did their best to give the game away.
“I know it was an ugly game, but it went on the left side of the column and it’s a win,” said BG coach Von Graffin whose team improves to 7-8 overall and 5-3 in the Northern Lakes League. Southview falls to 3-11, 1-7.
The free-throw line proved to be a challenge for both teams at key times down the stretch, and both squads could have benefitted from the Heimlich Maneuver. Southview made just one-of-four potential free throws in the final 40 seconds of regulation while the Bobcats were just 1-of-5 from the line in the fourth quarter and 3-of-9 during overtime.
“It just comes down to nerves I guess,” said BG’s Andrew Herringshaw who nailed seven 3-pointers on the way to 21 points. “We just have to block it out and make the free throws.”
In a contest that had 16 lead changes and nine ties, BG’s 8-0 run from 5:40 through 4:09 of the final quarter appeared to be the separation needed to win the game. Yet, the Cougars, on a trey from junior Matt Morrison (17 points) at the 3:50 mark through a stickback by 6-foot-3 sophomore Jeremiah Roberts (14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds) with 1:41 left in regulation, fashioned its own 10-0 response to lead 62-60.
BG’s 6-8 Vitto Brown (32 points, 11 boards, and nine blocked shots) responded with a triple, his first basket of the second half, just nine seconds later putting the Bobcats up one. At 1:14, Roberts netted a hoop near the left elbow and Southview led 64-63.
The Cougars, with 40 seconds left, misfired on the front end of a one-and-one. On its next possession, BG had the ball knocked out of bounds and had to inbound it near the sideline hash. Inexplicably, Southview really botched its out-of-bounds defense and pretty much left Brown isolated in the post allowing Herringshaw to lob the ball to Brown for an easy hoop, giving the Bobcats a 65-64 edge.
“Usually we have to throw it to a guard on the other side of half court, but they guarded Mitchell (Gardner) and guarded LaMontá (Stone) and left Vitto there (in the paint), and we got the bucket,” said Herringshaw.
BG fouled Morrison with nine seconds to go, but he converted only the second attempt to tie at 65-all. The Bobcats’ effort to win in regulation had little chance as Brown’s 16-foot baseline fade-away jumper wasn’t close.
BG, however, seized control immediately in overtime on a Herringshaw triple on a pass from Stone, a defensive stop, and a Herringshaw assist on Brown’s hoop to lead 70-65 just 50 seconds into overtime. Southview would get no closer than three points in the overtime even though the Bobcats provided opportunities with its poor free throw shooting in the final minute.
“It was this senior group and LaMontá Stone (10 points) executing our first two possessions in the overtime,” said Graffin, whose team was 27-of-56 (48 percent) from the field on the night. “We’re up 5-nothing right there in the overtime, and I thought that was key.
“We called it and Andrew (Herringshaw) banged it. It was a nice screen (from Brown) and Andrew made a nice shot. The second play sets up after the first one.”
Herringshaw, who nailed 7-of-12 triples on the night and used his day off from school effectively, said, “I went to the Community Center and shot, and my shot was feeling good.”
In the first quarter, Southview senior Brandon Stewart scored six of his team-high 18 points to give the Cougars a 14-12 edge. Down 22-16 with five minutes to play before the half, BG ran off a 9-0 run with Brown, accounting for seven of his 17 first-half points.
“I knew I was going to have to step up and really help our team in the first half to stay in the game,” said Brown who added seven rebounds, six blocks, two assists, and two steals in the opening half.
Herringshaw, on an assist from Stone, was able to drain a triple from the right corner with seven seconds left sending BG to halftime up 31-30. The third quarter ended with BG nursing a 51-48 lead.
For the game, BG was 53 percent (10-of-19) from beyond the arc while Southview was 32-of-71 (45 percent) overall and 4-of-13 from downtown. Both teams nabbed 31 rebounds.
Down 16 points entering the final quarter, the BG junior varsity team rallied to within four points before falling 53-47 to Southview. Cam Carsey led the Bobcats with 16 points.
BGHS 75, SOUTHVIEW 71 OT
Stone, 4-2—10; Donaldson, 1-0—2; Herringshaw, 0-7-0—21; E. Gardner, 0-0—0; M. Gardner, 0-1-0—3; Brown, 9-2-8—32; Dill, 3-1—7. TOTALS: 17-10-11—75.
Roberts, 6-2—14; Brock, 1-0—2; Morrison, 5-2-1—17; Stewart, 6-2-0—18; Wooddall, 0-0—0; Pinckney, 2-0—4; Hall, 7-0—14; Eggleston, 1-0—2. TOTALS: 28-4-3—71.
BGHS 12 19 20 14 10 —75
SOUTHVIEW 14 16 18 17 6 —71
Junior varsity: Southview, 53-47.