XENIA — Yellow Springs guard Andrew Clark went from zero to hero in the span of about 11 seconds, Friday, Feb. 10 in an exciting finish to a boys high school basketball game with host Xenia Legacy Christian.
With the game all knotted up at 52-52, Clark drove to his right but fell and lost the ball with 11 seconds left in the contest. All the host Knights had to do was score, and the Metro Buckeye Conference tussle would be theirs.
But Yellow Springs’ James Browning picked off an errant LCA pass at about midcourt, and as Clark was getting up from his fall, Browning hit him with a cross-court pass. Clark ambled in from the right side with an easy layup.
Legacy Christian coach Brad Newsome was able to call timeout with 1.3 seconds left on the clock. The Knights (11-9, 6-5 MBC) were able to get a pass to midcourt in 0.3 seconds when another timeout was immediately called. But the half-court inbounds pass to under the basket sailed out of bounds. Yellow Springs (5-15, 3-7 MBC) then ran out the clock to seal the win.
It was the first lead the Bulldogs had since they led 18-17 in the first half.
“We have some resilient young men. James had a big steal there. He didn’t have a great first few quarters, but he really picked it up in that fourth. I kept telling the guys, we hadn’t played very well but we were still in the game. We knew that if we had a big fourth quarter, we could win it,” Yellow Springs coach Bobby Crawford said.
“Everybody stepped up their game in that fourth and played really hard. James made a heckuva play to get the steal, and then he made a heads-up pass to get the ball to Andy (Clark). A big-time play by James.”
Yellow Springs out-scored LCA by a 20-12 margin in the fourth.
Clark picked his game up, especially in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs sophomore scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth, including a perfect 6-for-6 shots from the free-throw line. Joe Plumer led Yellow Springs with 15 points, and Tony Marinelli finished with 13. Browning scored all seven of his points in the second half
The Bulldogs’ late-game heroics offset a 17-point evening by Legacy Christian’s Erik Uszynski.
“Free throws and turnovers are typically going to determine a game like that. This game will help both teams in getting ready for the postseason. It felt like a tournament game,” LCA coach Newsome said. “Erik played strong, came up with some key rebounds, and played a great game for us.”
Ashton Burke was the other Knights player finishing in double-figure scoring, with 11. The Knights are back in action on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday Feb. 14, when they play at South Charleston Southeastern for a 7 p.m. nonleague contest.
Yellow Springs has a rare Monday contest at 7 p.m. Feb. 13, when they travel to MBC foe Troy Christian.
You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.