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Highlanders fall to Jasper in OT

February 24, 2010
Floyd Central coach Randy Gianfagna told his team that its game at Jasper could go either way. He was right on that thought, as the game went into overtime. What happened after that, however, was not expected, with Jasper outscoring the Highlanders 12-3 in the extra four minutes for a 64-55 win.

"They were just a little better," Gianfagna said. "We told them it was a 50-50 game, and they out executed us."

The Highlanders got off to a roaring start, with Brandon Codey scoring 12 of Floyd Central's first 14 points in a 14-2 lead. Jasper finally got rolling as Luke Rogers and Caleb Begle sank three-pointers to pull the Wildcats within six, 14-8. The Highlanders had a 6-2 burst to finish the period ahead 20-10.

Floyd Central’s Connor Schellenberg, right, knocks the ball away from Jasper’s Adam Knies while Barrett Crone provides some back-up in the second half of the Highlanders’ 64-55 overtime loss to the Wildcats. Photo by Wade Bell
Floyd Central worked to keep its lead in double digits, but Jasper began firing artillery rounds as Nelson and Zach Eckert buried three-balls. Crone got a freebie, but Jasper finished the quarter with two quick deuces, including an Adam Sander put-back at the buzzer, as the Wildcats cut their deficit to four, 31-27, at halftime.

"The big thing, we're up in the second quarter, we're up six waiting for the last shot, and we throw it out of bounds and they get a bucket," Gianfagna said.

A minute into the third period, Eckert drilled a three to pull the Wildcats within one. Cody Banet and Crone scored the next four points for Floyd Central, but Jasper answered. Jeffrey Thompson scored inside, but Rogers drilled another three, and the game was tied at 37.

Connor Schellenberg swished a free throw, but Nelson followed with a three-pointer for Jasper's first lead of the night with one quarter left.

Crone put the Highlanders back up front, and then the two teams swapped the lead again. The Highlanders hung onto the lead, but Adam Knies sank a pair of free throws that gave his Wildcats a 50-49 edge.

Codey buried a three to put Floyd Central in front by one, but Sam Rumbach later sank a deuce with 1:22 left in regulation. The Highlanders missed a deuce and neither team scored after that, sending the game into overtime tied at 52.

The four-minute overtime belonged to Jasper. The Wildcats scored the first six points, and then Codey buried a three to keep Floyd Central within three. Jasper then put on a free-throw clinic, making 10 of 10, led by Nelson, who swished eight.

The Wildcats outscored Floyd Central in the overtime and went on for the 64-55 win.

"The kid by himself there in the fourth quarter and overtime had 11, so when you get to shoot 15 free throws and they shoot 11 in the fourth quarter and overtime and they go 11-for-11 and we go 9-of-15," Gianfagna said, "you can talk about all the other things."

Codey led Floyd Central (11-7, 3-4) with 19 points, and Banet and Thompson each followed with 12. The Highlanders hit 21 of 52 (40 percent) of their shots and 9 of 15 free throws. Floyd Central had 15 turnovers.

"We tried to force it," Gianfagna said. "I thought we played OK the first quarter, but that's the way it was."

Casey Nelson led Jasper with 18 points, and Sander had 13. Knies finished with 10 points. Jasper was 20 of 43 (47 percent) from the floor and 16 of 20 from the stripe. The Wildcats had 18 turnovers.

"Look at the free-throw line, and that tells you all you need to know," the Floyd Central coach said. "We have a free-throw line violation. We go behind our back between traffic. We're up two and we're pressing and we're supposed to catch the ball in front of us, and the ball goes over our head and they get a layup. All the little things that lead to a victory. We don't get a check out here or there. So, they deserved to win. They played a little better than we did tonight."

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