The Northwood boys basketball battled Loyola Friday night in the Flyer’s tournament, a game that entertained with 10 ties and the lead changing 13 times, six times in the final three minutes.
Junior Martavious Washington gave the Falcons the most important lead change on a breakaway layup with 5.8 seconds remaining.
Washington’s fast-break bucket gave Northwood (6-6) a 53-51 win.
“(Trey Walker) was battling all game, and he got that rebound and hit me,” Washington said. “He saw me, and I was able to win the game. I thought the game was over.”
Loyola (4-4) had a chance for its own game-winning basket. Senior Rodney Ross took a pass in the backcourt and drove to the basket. His layup attempt at the buzzer rolled off the rim.
“When I saw him go up, I thought we were going to overtime,” Washington said. “But he missed it, and it was a good feeling to get the win.”
Northwood, playing without a starting post player, took a quick 6-0 lead on three baskets from Trey Walker.
“We didn’t play very well (Thursday) in a loss to Calvary, and our big guy didn’t come with us today, but I told the guys: ‘You can quit, or you can go play,'” Northwood coach Larry Bagley said. “Trey did a heck of a job, and we got after them. We played as well as I could have expected.”
But Loyola tied the game at 10 by the end of the first quarter. The game was still tied, 24-24, at halftime after Loyola’s Eldrick English hit a baseline jumper.
“We’re still struggling,” Baley said. “We haven’t played very well yet.”
Washington led the way for the Falcons in the third quarter, hitting three 3-pointers, two on back-to-back possessions, to put Northwood up 37-30.
“I just had to keep moving around to get open,” Washington said. “I had to step up for my team. They needed me.”
Washington’s shots gave the Falcons, who had trailed 28-26, a boost.
“If the other team leaves him open, he is going to make the shot,” Bagley said. “In the two years I’ve had him, if he misses, I’m surprised.”
But again, Loyola answered, this time with a 5-0 run on layups from Ross and Sherrod Lewis.
Loyola took a 44-42 lead with 3:40 left in the game, when English stole a Northwood inbound pass and made a layup.
“Playing in these close games will make us better,” Washington said. “Now we know that we can win more games. We have to keep getting better at what we are doing.”
Walker responded with a layup to tie the game. The teams were tied at 44, 47, 49 and 51 points down the stretch.
Loyola led 51-49 with 50 seconds left on the clock, after Ross side-stepped a defender and made a short shot.
But Northwood’s Angelo Robert hit a pull-up jumper to tie the game with 20 seconds left, and Walker’s rebound on the next Loyola possession led to Washington’s game-winning basket.
“A win like this makes us a little more cohesive,” Bagley said. “The guys got excited, and we made some plays at the right times. We didn’t quit. (Thursday) we never played. We were lethargic, walking up and down. But tonight, we came out and played.”
Washington and English led all scorers with 16 points. Robert added 12 for Northwood, Walker scored 11 points and Lewis had nine.
Ross put in 14 for Loyola.
Loyola will play both Calvary (noon) and West Monroe (7 p.m.) today, and Northwood will play West Monroe at 3:30 p.m. to close out the tournament.
Connect with Brent Shirley on Twitter at @bshirley08.