CENTERVILLE —Apparently Centerville and Beavercreek can never be easy.
When these Greater Western Ohio Conference rivals met earlier in the season, it took a last second shot for Centerville to top Beavercreek, 44-43.
The Beavers (13-8, 6-4 GWOC) faced an early deficit Thursday night at Centerville High School when the hosting Elks dropped five three-pointers in the first quarter, but Beavercreek regained its composure and slowly crawled its way back into the game. Second chance opportunities for the Elks (14-7, 7-3 GWOC) were too much however, and Beavercreek fell 81-79 in double overtime.
“This game was about as opposite of the first game as possible,” said Beavercreek coach John Ahrns. “If you saw the first game, the score indicated that neither team shot well and there was a lot of good defense. We thought we could do the same thing defensively, but when we lost guys in transition, we needed to change things up a little bit.”
And Centerville definitely took advantage of those defensive lapses. The Elks had 14 three-pointers in the game, six in the first half. They had a 23-10 lead after the first quarter, and the difference grew to as much as 15 points in the second. Beavercreek was able to reign things in a bit before halftime, and an Airius Moore halfcourt buzzer beater cut the deficit to seven just before the break.
“They made a lot of outside shots, but one of the things is that we lost the guys. When we were in man to man, we just flat lost them. And they pushed the ball in transition and they shot them and they made them. I don’t know what their percentage was. It seemed well over 100 percent, but that seems to be impossible,” said Ahrns. “The only reason we went to zone was not because it’s a better defense against threes, it’s just that at least everybody would know where to go. It slowed them up a little bit and allowed us to chip away, chip away, chip away, and it gave us a lot of chances in this game to steal it.”
Senior Tyler Reasoner had a team-high 24 points for Beavercreek, and his offensive play down low was key for the Beavers’ comeback. Senior Jarred Waters added 21 for Beavercreek and Moore had 14.
Centerville senior Eric Meininger had a game-high 26 points and hit five three-pointers.
Beavercreek came out and made a run in the third quarter and got the game within three, but second and third opportunities for Centerville continued to kill momentum. The Beavers would eventually tie the game at 56 with just under six minutes left in the final quarter after a Zach Rower layup.
Then craziness ensued.
With 14 seconds left in the game, Waters hit a three-pointer on an inbounds play to tie the game at 67. Then the Beavers made the mistake of fouling Centerville guard Mitch Balser. Luckily he missed, and Beavercreek had one last chance to win the game in regulation.
On what should have been the final play, Beavercreek attempted a fullcourt pass to Waters, but it was intercepted by Centerville big man Clayton Schmerber. Waters, trying to get to the ball, collided with Schmerber and the refs called an intentional foul, sending Centerville to the line for two free throws. To the Centerville fans’ dismay, he missed both free throws and the game went into overtime.
The overtime periods were back and forth, but what ended the night for Beavercreek was a botched rebound after a missed Centerville free throw. The Elks had a lead, and Beavercreek would have had another shot if they could have grabbed one more board.
“Really what hurt us was we couldn’t get rebounds on the big possessions. We just missed the big opportunities to get loose balls and in a close game that’s the difference,” said Ahrns
Beavercreek returns to action when they host Bellbrook at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Beavercreek High School.