JAMESTOWN — In a battle between the two elite teams in the Ohio Heritage Conference’s South division, it was only fitting that the game’s exciting outcome would come at the buzzer.
Greeneview withstood several errant final-minute shots from the free-throw line, and saw Cedarville’s final shot clank off the rim at the buzzer, to hang on for a 58-56 win, Feb. 7 over the visiting Indians.
With the win, Greeneview (16-5, 12-3 OHC South) grabbed at least a share of the OHC South title. The Rams have their final regular season game at 7:30 p.m. on the road at South Charleston Southeastern on Feb. 14. A win there and they’ll have won the OHC South outright.
In the game’s final two minutes of play, Greeneview couldn’t buy a converted free throw. The agony of watching crucial foul shots clank off the rims wasn’t lost on a relieved Rams coach Kyle Fulk.
“I was hoping that we’d make some of our free throws down the stretch. I think we missed the front end of three one-and-ones with three of our best scorers,” Fulk said. “When they’re going to the line, I feel pretty good. As Cedarville’s running the ball up the court the other way, though, I’m not feeling so good any more.”
Greeneview’s Gabe Caudill (game-high 24 points), Cole Allen (the team’s second leading scorer with a 13.6 points per game average), and Rhett Burtch (third on the team at 13.1 ppg) each missed their free throw tries in the final 1:30 of the game.
A Hunter Baldwin score from inside with 47.8 seconds left to play pulled the Cedarville Indians (15-5, 11-4 OHC South) to within two points. Cedarville’s scoring leader, Colby Cross, fired a shot from the right wing with less than a two seconds left in the contest, but the ball bounded off the rim as time expired.
Greeneview fans soon mobbed the Rams players at midcourt in celebration.
“I love the guys I have, I know that they’re going to be able to get things done, and most of the time they prove me right,” Fulk said.
Burtch scored 17 points, Allen added seven, three other Rams players combined for 10 points, and Caudill’s 27-point output was a season high.
“I just wanted to win this game for my team and my coaches, and for everything that they’ve put in for me,” Caudill said. “I just tried to go win the OHC for my team. … It’s the best feeling in the world. The team’s had it rough for the past three years, but this year the team just connects together. We love playing with each other, and nothing feels better than this.”
In the loss, Trent Koning led Cedarville with 17 points, including five 3-pointers, Isaiah Ramey scored 14 points, OHC scoring leader Colby Cross finished with 13 points, and Baldwin added 10.
“I definitely felt like we gave ourselves a chance. The foul situation made it hard for us to draw something up, because (Greeneview) had so many fouls yet to give,” Cedarville coach Ryan Godlove said. “Colby’s definitely the guy we want shooting for us at the end, but sometimes the ball just doesn’t go your way.”
Cedarville has a nonleague game at home against Middletown Christian at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11 up next. They’ll then close out the OHC and regular season on Valentine’s Day night at home against Greenon.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.