WARSAW – Coshocton senior Nick Kirkpatrick had flashbacks to Friday’s loss to Rosecrans when he stepped to the free throw line holding a late two-point lead Tuesday night against RIver View.
There were 22 seconds left in the game when Kirkpatrick stepped up, making it eerily reminiscent of Friday, when he made 1 of 4 attempts at the line and Rosecrans came back to defeat Coshocton.
“I just thought to myself I messed this up pretty bad last week, so hopefully I don’t do it again,” Kirkpatrick said. “Just shoot these like normal. Easy shots.”
This time the point guard made 4 of 4, clinching the 39-33 win against their rival. Kirkpatrick was particularly overjoyed after making his first two and pushing Coshocton’s lead to 33-37.
“It was just some weight lifted off of my shoulder,” he said. “I’m glad I have that stress lifted off my shoulder, now I can just play basketball again.”
Coshocton coach Jeremy Ady was confident Kirkpatrick would make the free throws this time around.
“He is one of our better free throw shooters. The other day against Rosecrans, he got in his own head, and today, he stepped up with confidence,” Ady said.
Coshocton started the second half with that same confidence, going up 31-20 with 4:44 left in the third quarter. But then the bottom fell out.
Nothing they tried worked as River View began to climb back into the game. Coshocton’s scoring drought lasted from the 4:44 mark in the third quarter until Ashton Jarvis found Andrew Mason with 2:10 to play in the fourth quarter.
“We switched screens and stuff. We thought, especially in the first half, they were getting too many open threes, and if they continued the way they were, we were going to be in big trouble. That was effective, I think,” River View coach Jason Trout said.
But as that drought continued, Kirkpatrick said he was confident they would turn it around.
“There was no point where I thought we would lose, but I thought we better start clicking or River View is going to come back and make it a game, which they did, so props to them for that,” he said.
Ady said fatigue and bad shots played a part in their drought, but the Redskins, although they were missing shots, kept River View from getting out in transition like they wanted to, particularly by grabbing offensive rebounds and resetting their offense when they did.
“With them, if you give up an offensive rebound, it might not be a layup real quick, but they bring it out and run another 45 seconds of the clock, and we could’ve used another 45 seconds,” Trout said.
Despite Coshocton slowing the pace down, River View continued to chip away. With 1:54 left, they cut the Coshocton lead to two. But then the Redskins’ offense woke up.
Mason scored on an assist from Jarvis, then River View got two offensive rebounds of its own and scored right back. But Hunter Haas found Conner Roarhig, then Black Bear point guard Matt Brillhart, who finished with a team-high 11, scored, making it a two-point game once again.
Coshocton couldn’t seem to stretch the lead until the team started playing keep-away from the Black Bear defenders, and that is when Kirkpatrick hit his free throws, clinching the win.
Kirkpatrick said the team should be 3-0, but with a 2-1 record, they have officially bounced back from last Friday’s loss. Coshocton will host Claymont on Friday night at home.
“This is a good win for us. We could’ve been down and tucked our tails,” Ady said. “The kids came out and we got a win the ugly way, and credit to coach Trout. Those kids played hard.”
River View will host Rosecrans on Friday as it looks to get its first win of the season.
“We have to be able to do more of what we want to do instead of playing what our opponent wants us to do,” Trout said.
Coshocton 12-13-6-7 — 39
River View 6-9-9-9 — 33
Coshocton: 14-47 FG, x-x FT, 6-19 3pt. (Jarvis 2) 32 rebounds (Mason 12), 4 turnovers, 12 Assists (Jarvis, Kirkpatrick 3), Steals 4 (Kirkpatrick 2). Scoring: Kirkpatrick 3 4-4 12, Haas 3 1-4 7, Mason 3 0-0 6, Jarvis 2 0-0 6, Roahrig 2 0-0 5, Hardesty 3 0-0 3.
River View: 11-41 FG, 5-8 FT, 4-16 3pt. 28 rebounds (Belangia 7), 4 turnovers, 5 Assists (Hocter, Gossmnan 2), Steals 2 (Hocter 1). Scoring: Brillhart 4 0-0 11, Dart 3 2-2 9, Hocter 3 0-0 6, Belangia 1 2-2 4, Gossman 1 1-4 3