FOWLERVILLE — Fowlerville’s Caden Collins wasn’t nervous when he stepped on the hardwood late in last week’s game against Charlotte.
His team was trailing by two points with less than 10 seconds to play, and the junior guard never expected to have the ball in his hands. However, as the Gladiators frantically tried to steal a win, the ball found Collins, and he was forced to improvise.
The guard received the ball at the top of the 3-point line, dribbled down the heart of the lane, and hit a game-tying layup, plus the foul, with 3.7 seconds left, giving Fowlerville a chance at victory. Collins knocked down the go-ahead free throw and helped the Gladiators grab a 67-65 win.
The game-tying layup was voted as the State Journal’s high school video of the week.
“The ball was not supposed to go to me,” Collins said. “The ball was supposed to go to our unanimous, all-league center (Dan Judd). …I had to rip (the ball) away from a Charlotte guard, and I took the opportunity, drove the lane, and I was able to finish it.”
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Fowlerville was able to snap a four-game losing streak thanks to Collins’ effort. The Gladiators had to fight back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to grab the win.
“It was a really good shot for us because we had been struggling,” Collins said. “That was a really big win for us.”
Fowlerville is gearing up for the Class B district tournament, which will begin Monday against CAAC White foe Lansing Catholic. And while the Gladiators (7-13) finished the regular season by dropping their final three games, Collins said his ball club is confident heading into district play.
Fowlerville split the two-game season series with the Cougars this year.
“We definitely feel that we can make a run in our district,” Collins said. “It’s a fresh start, everyone is 0-0. Anything can happen. Any team can make a run.”
Contact James L. Edwards III at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.