COSHOCTON – Coshocton coach Jeremy Ady’s head was spinning.
Rosecrans guard Michael Fisher didn’t know what was going on. And the Coshocton fans fell silent.
All that happened after a banked 3-pointer from Fisher — who finished with 30 points — sent Friday’s game between Coshocton and Rosecrans into overtime.
“I thought the game was over. I did not think that shot was going in,” Fisher said of his 3.
But it wasn’t over. Despite trailing by 11 in the fourth quarter, the Bishops defeated the Redskins, 69-68, after Dominic Mohr made the game-winning free throw with no time on the clock.
“This is one of the better wins we’ve had coming back like that,” Rosecrans coach Todd Rock said. “They never quit. But give Coshocton credit: They are a good basketball team.”
Coshocton’s Ashton Jarvis made two free throws to give the Redskins a 49-38 lead with with 2:41 left, seemingly putting the game away. Ady was confident things would go the Redskins’ way.
But things went haywire. Turnovers from both sides came in the following possessions, but Fisher knew the Bishops still had a chance.
“I knew that if we hit enough 3s, we could get back in,” Fisher said. “We just had to find a way to get up shots.”
Their way was to press the Redskins and foul.
“We knew we could foul them and they could go maybe 1-for-2 or 0-for-2,” Fisher said.
Coshocton’s Conner Roahrig made his first two with 1:36 remaining, but then it went downhill for the Redskins. Coshocton went 7-of-13 from the free-throw line in the final minute of regulation, while Rosecrans went 5-of-6.
“Our Achilles’ heel is our free throws. Our kids are tired because they play lots of minutes, and that’s one of our focuses,” Ady said. “You have to make free throws to win the game. Free throws and rebounds win the game, and right now we are struggling with free throws.”
With 11 seconds to play in the fourth, Fisher hit a 3 to cut the lead to two, but Coshocton point guard Nick Kirkpatrick, made one of two free throws to leave the door open.
Fisher’s shot followed.
“I was hoping (Fisher) was going to get fouled, but he banked it up,” Rock said.
But then it was time for overtime. Coshocton looked depleted, and Rosecrans had life.
“The body language was not good, but whose would be after that shot?” Ady said. “But I was telling the kids you have to play through it.”
It didn’t take long for Coshocton to breathe life back into the gym. Coshocton had control through most of the second half and came out in overtime and wasready to go. Ashton Jarvis scored on the first possession.
“We scored right away and we battled in overtime, but they just had one more point than we did, due to one less free throw,” Ady said.
The game was tied at 63 when Coshocton went back to forward Andrew Mason, who totaled 32 points and missed four shots the entire game, but this time his shot was off the mark.
“He wanted the ball at the end of the game; we gave it to him because he was doing a great job and we were looking to get some and-1 fouls,” Ady said. “Mason had a great game. Tip your hat to him.”
After Mason’s miss though, Fisher pulled up from 35 feet and made a 3, putting Rosecrans up three. Still the momentum felt like it had to come down to one last shot, and it did.
Kirkpatrick drove through the lane, pump faked and got the basket and the foul. He converted the free throw to give Rosecrans one shot with 25 seconds on the clock. The plan was to get the ball to Fisher, but they couldn’t and Mohr got fouled.
“We just told Dom, ‘You struggled all night, now take the thing home,'” Rock said.
And he did, giving Rosecrans a win in their season opener.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s just such a great feeling,” Fisher said.
The Redskins will look to put this game behind them as they travel to River View on Tuesday.
“Things don’t get easier. They don’t. We have to bounce back,” Ady said. “Can’t get any bigger than your rivalry game. So we will come back, work on our free throws and be ready to play.”
Rosecrans 10-9-12-27-11 — 69
Coshocton 6-14-18-20 — 68
Rosecrans: 22-47 FG, 13-17 FT, 12-26 3pt. (Fisher 10) 23 rebounds (Johnston 8), 11 turnovers, 11 Assists (Hagy 3, Mohr 3), Steals 6 Scoring: Fisher 10 0-0 30, Gehlken 7 1-3 17, Hagy 1 4-4 6, Mohr 1 4-5 6, Mclaughlin 3 0-1 6, Johnston 0 4-4 4
Coshocton: 23-40 FG, 19-30 FT, 3-11 3pt. (Roahrig 3) 29 rebounds (Griffiths 9), 12 turnovers, 12 Assists, Steals 6. Scoring: Mason 13 6-8 32, Roahrig 5 3-4 16, Kirkpatrick 3 3-7 9, Jarvis 1 4-4 6, Griffiths 1 3-6 5.