By John Bombatch
YELLOW SPRINGS — The completion of the Yellow Springs boys basketball team’s comeback effort rolled off the south basketball rim as time expired, Friday, for a 54-53 loss to Metro Buckeye Conference foe Springfield Emmanuel Christian.
Moments after the Lions’ Fred Shropshire had put Emmanuel Christian ahead with eight seconds left to play, Trey Anderson rebounded a missed three-point try by Bulldog teammate Tony Marineli. Anderson put up the shot, and the ball rolled off the rim as time expired.
The Emmanuel Christian players celebrated, as some Yellow Springs players went over to pick up Anderson who lay in a heap under the basket.
“It kinda worked out. We’ll run that in practice as kind of a clearout play to get us a last-second look. We’ll take it,” Emmanuel Christian coach Dan Moore said of the winning play. It was his team’s first win of the season and Emmanuel Christian’s first time, ever, to win a game at Yellow Springs.
“We’ve been playing Yellow Springs since 2006, and this is the first time we’ve left here with a win. So it’s a nice bit of history for us tonight,” Moore said.
Yellow Springs (0-4, 0-1 MBC) had trailed by 10 points, 44-34, early on in the fourth quarter. They were down 48-42 with just under three minutes left in the game, but a pair of Augie Knemeyer 3-pointers evened the score at 48-all with 1:45 left to play.
Two Shropshire free throws for Emmanuel Christian, and then an Anderson jumper on Yellow Springs’ next possession had things evened up at 50-50 with 1:13 left.
Adonis Davis hit his final bucket of a game-high 24-point effort with 46 seconds left to play to put the Lions back on top, 52-50, but then Marineli drained a 3-pointer from off the left wing to put Yellow Springs in front, 53-52, with 31 ticks left on the clock.
That set up Shropshire’s game-winner with eight seconds to go.
Bulldogs coach Bobby Crawford says his team is improving, but they’re not quite where he wants them.
“We’ve got five players without much experience, and they’ve gotta learn the hard way sometimes,” he said. “You’d like for it to be easy for them, but my experience is that hardship will bring the best out of ya. We’ll figure out what kind of guts these kids have got at practice (Saturday) morning at 8:30.”
Knemeyer led Yellow Springs with 14 points scoring, while Zach Bertlinger-Conn and Marineli each finished with 13.
Aside from Davis’s 24, Shropshire was the other Lion in double-figure scoring with 10.
“We’ve gotta share the ball and make the right plays, and it’s gotta be every time. We’ve just gotta be more consistent,” Crawford added. “We need to break some bad habits, and some selfish things we are doing right now. It’s about sharing — sharing the ball, sharing the blame and sharing responsibility. We just don’t do a very good job of that right now. It’s hard to win without doing those things.”
The Bulldogs can work on those things for a couple days, at least. They will host Dayton Stivers at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13. Emmanuel Christian (1-1, 1-0 MBC) will host Granville Christian in a nonleague contest at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.