FREDERICKTOWN — It came down to a fateful call on a final shot.
The Fredericktown Freddies’ Ryan Logan was called for charging with 0.5 seconds remaining, allowing the Utica Redskins to escape with a 44-43 win in Tuesday’s Mid-Buckeye Conference matchup.
Logan had already put up 27 points for the Freddies’ cause. Down by a point, he took an inbounds pass with 5.2 seconds remaining and took the ball all the way upcourt — just like he had done several times successfully in the fourth period — and tried a jump shot in front of the free-throw line.
Except that Utica’s Clay Rowley and Nathan Wyscarver were already there, waiting for him.
The three players collided as Logan let the shot go. The official waved the shot off and awarded Utica the ball.
“We had our best player with the ball in his hands in front of the rim,” said Fredericktown interim head coach Mike DeLaney. “We just didn’t make the shot. Sometimes, that happens.”
“We sent the message to our kids. We knew (Logan) was going to get the ball,” said Utica head coach Brian Radabaugh. “We knew he was going to get that last shot. And our players did a good job in stepping up.”
On a night when Logan had a career night, scoring 27 and pulling down nine boards, it was Wyscarver who hit the clutch shots to win the game.
Wyscarver had 20 points, including going 9-for-11 from the free-throw line in the second half. His clutch free throws kept the Redskins (2-1, 1-0 MBC) in the lead. He also led Utica with seven rebounds and two assists.
“Nate struggled mightily in our first two games,” said Radabaugh. “He didn’t score too much. But I talked to him, and told him to be patient, that his time would come. And he stepped up and did what I expect seniors to do in that situation.”
It had been a back-and-forth struggle between the two teams all night, with a season’s worth of excitement packed into the final 2:39 of the game. That’s when Rowley blocked a shot, allowing teammate Broc Stradley to collect the loose ball and connect with Luke Holmes down the court for a score and a 39-37 lead.
Logan later stole a Utica pass and took it all the way for a bucket to tie the game at 39.