NEW ALBANY — It just wasn’t meant to be for the Mount Vernon boys basketball team.
The Yellow Jackets had a chance to sew up the outright Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division crown when they visited New Albany on Friday, but the Eagles were able to escape with a 47-44 victory. Olentangy Orange beat Delaware Hayes, 63-46, to grab a share of the title with the Jackets.
Mount Vernon (14-6 overall, 11-3 OCC) rallied from a 12-point deficit to take the lead with 50 seconds left in the game. But, New Albany (12-8, 10-4) hit an off-balance shot to regain the lead, and then hit enough free throws to win it.
“When you battle back like that and play as hard as the kids did, it hurts,” said Mount Vernon coach Kurt Kaufman. “We stepped up and showed our competitiveness. We battled back and gave ourselves a great chance. I could not ask for more than that. I’m proud of the kids in that sense.”
The Jackets, who trailed 10-0 to start the game, grabbed their first lead of the night with 3:55 left when Seth Badger hit a pair of free throws. The junior had drained a 3-pointer just seconds prior to that to pull MV within one.
After New Albany knotted the game at 42, MV senior Will O’Hara ripped the ball away from Jay Marshall and was fouled. He sank both free throws to give MV a 44-42 lead with just 50 seconds left.