DELAWARE — Outsized, down by 13 points and hip deep in foul trouble. That’s not where you want to be in the fourth quarter of any game.
That’s where the Utica Redskins found themselves, with a little over 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the game, as they faced the Granville Blue Aces at Delaware High School in Saturday night’s Division II Sectional Final.
With four players, including all three seniors, carrying four fouls, the Redskins went down fighting. Although they eventually lost, 50-42, they managed to make it a four-point game in the final minute.
Despite the loss, that gritty, confident performance may have defined their season.
“That’s what we’ve done all year,” said Utica coach Eric Sheck. “There wasn’t a game this year that our kids didn’t compete. I’m so proud of them. Even when it looked like the game was kind of out of hand, our kids are not going to quit. We rotated guys in and out at the end and those kids were fighting, even though we were down by so many points. We cut it to four, which is a testament to our kids not giving up.”
The Redskins (16-6) led at the end of the first quarter, when Broc Stradley (six points) dropped in a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
They were still within six at the half, despite only getting a single Nate Wyscarver field goal in the second period. Granville’s Hunter Orth (nine points) and Scott Owen (10 points, five steals, one block) each dropped in a 3-pointer.