CEDARVILLE— Brant Wickline started off Friday night’s home contest with a hot hand, and by the end of the game, he was downright on fire.
Wickline hit the game-winning 3-pointer with four seconds remaining to lift the Cedarville Indians (5-6, 2-4) past the Springfield Northeastern Jets (1-9, 1-5 OHC) 52-50 in Ohio Heritage Conference action.
Wickline, who scored 26, was relieved to see the shot go down.
“I just wanted it to go in, that’s about it,” Wickline said. “I was just praying.”
Cedarville coach Ryan Godlove said the shot was drawn up for Wickline, or Hudson Grant, who scored 17.
Grant ended up passing the ball to his teammate for a better look.
“We just tried to run a play where it gave both of them an option and Brant was open and Hudson made the right decision,” Godlove said.
Wickline was a vital cog in Cedarville’s offense all night, and helped the Indians keep pace with the Jets during a frantic first quarter that witnessed eight lead changes.
Northeastern was led by Nick Wiseman, who scored 23. Ten of those points came in the first period, while Wickline answered with nine of his own.
“(Wiseman) was making some touch shots and that’s something we’ve talked about,” Godlove said. “We’re trying to play good defense and contain him…because we know he’s a good player.”
Northeastern led 17-16 after the first quarter, but both squads struggled to find the bottom of the basket in the second period.
Northeastern took a five-point lead into halftime after Hayden Suchland converted from behind the 3-point line with time running out.
In the third quarter, Northeastern continued to struggle, and managed five points in the period. That’s when Wickline stepped up and knocked down two big 3’s, which gave Cedarville a 33-32 advantage heading into the final quarter.
The two teams traded shots, and played to a 41-41 with four minutes to play in the fourth.
Northeastern went ahead by two moments later, and didn’t trail again until Wickline seized the lead, and the game for the Indians.
Cedarville has struggled of late, and Godlove hopes the victory can inject some momentum into his squad.
“We’re on a three or four game losing streak,” Godlove said. “This is huge, just to win at all, let alone a win like this … it was nice to get one on our side.”