Jared McDaniel scored a game-high 22 points to lead Eaton Rapids to a 54-52 double-overtime win at CAAC Gold rival Jackson Northwest on Friday night.
Sheldon Holmes added 19 for the Greyhounds (7-5 overall, 3-4 CAAC Gold), who trailed for the bulk of the contest, but rallied back from an eight-point deficit in the first half and kept the Mounties within two possessions for the entirety of the second half and both overtime periods.
“It really felt like we were down all night, so to finish on top makes it really good win for us,” Eaton Rapids coach Luke Brown said. “It’s restarting our league cycle, so it’s nice to get a win like that. It felt like it was never going to end, and I almost wish it would not end, it was such a fun game to coach in.”
McDaniel scored nine of his points in the second quarter, including a 4-point play with 4:20 on the clock that cut that eight-point lead in half and a leaner seconds later that suddenly made it a two-point game.
“He’s really one of the better point guards in the area,” Brown said. “He’s in the top two or three in every statistical category, and he showed why he’s a leader. We really struggled in a couple of games that he missed, and it’s good to have him back.”
McDaniel gave the Greyhounds their first lead of the game with a 3-pointer in the opening minute of the second half, 25-24, but that lasted all of 33 seconds, and Eaton Rapids would not take the lead again until late in the fourth.
Riley Horsch led Northwest with 14 points, including a 3-pointer that gave the Mounties (3-6, 1-6) a one-point lead in the final two minutes of regulation before Andrew Wright’s baseline jumper with 16 seconds left sent the contest to overtime.
After each team could muster just four points in the first OT period, Wright opened the second with a huge 3-pointer just 15 seconds in and the Greyhounds never trailed again, allowing just one Mountie field goal in the second overtime.
“This will give us some great confidence, because we have rivalry week coming up,” McDaniel said. Parma is a good rival, and Charlotte is our ultimate rival, so this will give us some momentum.”
McDaniel capped off the night by splitting a pair of free throws with 29.1 second left that made the final score 54-52.
Brown said that rebounding was the key to his team’s ability to close out the win.
“They’re such a good rebounding team, always, one of the best rebounding teams in the area, no matter what’s going on,” he said.
“So for us to get a couple of rebounds was huge for us at the end.”