The two schools had several memorable sub-state games in their storied history. Add another one. Tanner Erhart drained a 40-foot shot at the buzzer to give the Vikings a 33-32 win over Wellsville.
“March might of come one day early down in Humboldt,” Cannady said. “It was celebrate and heartache. I was filled with mixed emotions as it went in.
“I could not be more thrilled for my kids and felt heartbroke for the young ones of Wellsville. I have so much respect for coach Thatcher Decker and his team and the community of Wellsville. It’s so hard to have the outcome of a game come down to that.
“I could not be more impressed with the players of Wellsville after the game during the handshakes. Each one looked me right in the eye and gave me a firm handshake and said good game and good luck. That says a lot about the parenting and the leadership they are under. They are great kids.”
It was one of those classic rivalry games from start to finish. Both coaches put together game plans to combat each other.
“As the game started, Wellsville went to a triangle-in-2 on Jordan [Horstick] and Tanner and took them away,” Cannady said. “We were a little frustrated and got ourselves in a hole 12-3 after the first quarter.
“Between quarters. we told them to be patient and we will figure something out. Just work harder on ‘D’ and stay together and only good things will happen.”
“At half, we told the kids nobody was hurt on that shot,” Cannady said. “It is still a two possession game and we have the ball to start the third.”
Central Heights had four straight possession to tie or take the lead. The Viking defense held strong as Wellsville scored 10 points combined in the second and third quarters. The score was knotted at 22-22 after the third quarter.
Cannady told his team it would be a one possession game
To get to that one final possession, there were some twists and turns.
“Drew Beckwith was huge for us in the fourth,” Cannady said. “He hit two big shots and got a monster offensive rebound that fueled our kids with energy.”
Wellsville’s Shamus Kearney’s basket with four seconds left gave the Eagles a 32-30 lead.
Central Heights came into the huddle understanding the situation.
“Words like ‘we can still do this’ and ‘believe’ were being said as we drew up a couple options to get a shot,” Cannady said.
The ball was knocked out of bounds off a Wellsville player’s foot with two seconds left.
“We were looking for Beckwith with our first option again and our second option was Tanner flashing to the middle for the ball,” Cannady said. Tanner had a great look and the ball went through.
Beckwith led the Vikings (12-9) with 12 points.
The Eagles (14-7) were paced by Carter Mann’s 17 points.
Central Heights (33) — McAfee 6, Beckwith 12, Horstick 3, Erhart 9, Hendron 6.
Wellsville (32) — Silsby 7, Kearney 6, Mann 17, Dalrymple 2.