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Furious North comeback leads to OT win

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Mustangs trailed by 16 in final minutes

By Brad Stephens

GOSHEN – There wasn’t much hope for North Oldham with four minutes to play Tuesday night.

The Mustangs trailed North Hardin 60-44. They’d scored just eight points in the second half, struggling with turnovers, shooting and rebounding.

But a Jon Jon Henry basket and free throws led to a Chris Burton three. That led to a Henry three and a Trevor Burton 3-point play.

In just a few possessions, North Oldham got back in the game.

Finally a Chris Burton basket sent the game to overtime, a Derek Powell basket gave the Mustangs an overtime lead and North Oldham pulled off an emotional 73-70 win.

The comeback surprised about everyone in the building but Mustangs coach Chris Stobaugh.

“I told the guys with two and a half minutes to go – we were down nine – I told them, and I believed it from the bottom of my heart, that we had them right where we wanted them,” Stobaugh said. “I could just tell that (North Hardin) was in a panic and that they were going to give us every opportunity we needed to get back in it. And they did.”

The game had three distinct movements.

There was the first half, which North Oldham (2-3) controlled at a 36-29 clip.

There was the third quarter and first four minutes of the fourth quarter, which the Trojans dominated, 31- 8.

And there was the final four minutes of regulation and overtime, when the Mustangs pulled themselves up and delivered a big-time counter-attack.

“We started being more intense,” said Henry, who scored a team-high 23 points. “We got our confidence back up, started scoring and we just got on a roll.”

North Hardin (1-4) called timeout after a Henry bucket, two Henry free throws and a Chris Burton lead cut the deficit to 60-51 with just more than two minutes left.

The Mustangs kept up the momentum out of that timeout. The Trojans’ Tony Jackson hit a free throw to push the lead back to double-digits, but Henry responded with a 3-pointer.

Then North Oldham’s Justin Cundiff saved a ball that was going out of bounds into the hands of Trevor Burton. The senior guard attacked the rim, hit a shot and drew a foul. His ensuing free throw cut North Hardin’s lead 61-57.

Trevor Burton and the Trojans’ Kevon Davis then traded free throws, making the score 72-69 in the final seconds.

The Mustangs got the ball back with 10.7 seconds to play, needing a 3-pointer to tie after Jackson bricked a pair of free throws.

Henry fired a shot from behind the arc that was off target, but he was fouled in the process of shooting.

The junior stepped to the line with a little more than two seconds on the clock, needing to hit all three free throws to tie.

Henry made the first and missed the second, making the score 62-60 with one Henry free throw to go.

Stobaugh called a timeout to draw up a play to tie the game. The plan was for Henry to miss the free throw intentionally, with North Oldham’s forwards pushing their North Hardin counterparts under the basket. That would then clear space for Chris Burton to crash the basket, grab the rebound and score the tying basket.

The plan worked to perfection.

Henry missed, Chris Burton flew into the lane, grabbed the rebound and hit the game-tying shot.

“People won’t believe me but that’s exactly what I wrote on this board,” Stobaugh said. “…I think on that play two things helped us.

“One, their coach, he kept saying he had another timeout. I think that created enough confusion on the court that that helped. And I think the second thing was Jon Jon shot it quickly. I don’t think they were ready to move. So Chris was on the ball before they even reacted, which helped.”

North Oldham had to claw its way back from another deficit in overtime.

The Mustangs fell behind 70-65 and were without Trevor Burton, who fouled out.

But Henry took over. He hit two free throws, then got a steal and a layup to cut the lead to one.

“He’s a one-man show,” Stobaugh said of Henry. “He really is. I mean, I’d like to take credit for it but he does so many good things.”

North Oldham finally took the lead with less than a minute to play on a basket by Powell. The two points were Powell’s only points of the game.

“We were looking for Jon Jon to go drive, but then they double-teamed the ball, so we had to kick it out to Justin,” Powell said. “He drove by and made a great pass to me.”

A Cundiff basket made the score 73-70. Davis’ last second heave for the Trojans came up short.

North Oldham will spend the upcoming weekend in Bowling Green, playing in the Warren East Christmas Tournament. The Mustangs will take on South Warren at noon Saturday.

“I told our guys in the locker room,” Stobaugh said, “this is the kind of win that changes a season.”

 

 

North Hardin – 20, 9, 19, 14, 8 – 70

North Oldham – 21, 15, 5, 21, 11 – 73

 

North Hardin – Davis 25, Jackson 18, B. Maxwell 10, Freeman 7, Alexander 4, Harris 2, K. Maxwell 2, Randolph 2

North Oldham – Henry 23, C. Burton 18, T. Burton 16, Cundiff 9, Klingeman 4, Powell 2, Hammock 1

 

 

OTHER TUESDAY SCORES

 

Boys

Oldham County 84, Grant County 61

South Oldham 79, Spencer County 54

 

Girls

Anderson County 63, Oldham County 53