UTICA — On a night in which the Utica Redskins honored its seniors, it was a junior who made the defensive play that won the game.
Down by one with just five seconds to go in overtime, Luke Holmes swatted down a shot attempt by Centerburg’s Chase Cochran under the basket. Utica senior Nathan Wyscarver grabbed the loose ball, preserving the Redskins’ 46-45 victory over the Trojans in both teams’ season finale.
Overtime was an emotional roller-coaster for both teams and their fans. Utica started the scoring when Broc Stradley gathered a steal and hit a layup while drawing a foul. The three-point play gave his team a 44-41 advantage.
With under two minutes left, Centerburg had a chance to even the score when Caleb White hit an off-balance shot while drawing a foul of his own. However, despite being 7-for-8 from the line up to that point, his free throw missed. Centerburg’s only other shot was Cochran’s last attempt under the basket.
“When it got to the clutch, our kids really dug in and made the plays when they had to,” said Utica head coach Brian Radabaugh. “Especially defensively, down the stretch.”
The Trojans’ Jacob Sutton did get one final desperate attempt from past the half-court line at the buzzer, but the shot went wide.