Krys Johnson’s free throw with 1.2 seconds left was the difference in a wild Tuesday affair.
After 44 minutes of game time, the Ottawa High School boys basketball team clipped visiting Spring Hill 55-54 in a triple-overtime thriller.
The Broncos had the ball for the final shot as seconds ticked away with the score tied in the third overtime. Brennen Feeback, junior, pulled up for a three-point shot from the top of the key that missed. Krys Johnson, senior, was then fouled by Feeback going for the rebound and, after a deliberation by the officials, was sent to the line with 1.2 seconds left. Johnson missed his first attempt, but hit the second to give the Cyclones a one-point advantage. He then came up with the ball when the ensuing Bronco inbounds down court went over the head of Brock LaPlant, senior, to ice the dramatic win.
“We’ve talked at length about how, when we get a lead, we are pretty good,” Cliff McCullough, OHS head boys basketball coach, said. “Well, we weren’t very good [against Spring Hill]. It was one of those games where it was big shots, and it was going to come down to whoever scored last with the lowest amount of time on the clock, and it was us.”
The Cyclones started off cold, allowing Spring Hill to gain a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. A three-pointer by Russell White, junior, gave Ottawa its first lead 16-13 with 2:20 left in the second quarter. Another three by White at the end of the third quarter kick-started a 10-2 Cyclone run that put them up 34-24 with 5:38 left.
Spring Hill didn’t go away easily. Huge shots by Feeback inside a minute to play put the Broncos within one possession. Justin Weber, senior, drove to the basket, got the shot and a foul with 1.2 seconds left in regulation to tie the game 41-41, but missed the ensuing free throw to send it to overtime.
Down 45-43 in the first overtime, Ottawa’s Jayson Brown, sophomore, attempted a three inside 10 seconds to play that was off. Cade Gollier, sophomore, grabbed the offensive rebound and lobbed up a shot that Kobe Johnson, sophomore, tipped in at the buzzer to send the game to double-overtime.
The drama didn’t stop there. White forced a tie-up that gave Ottawa ball possession with the game tied and 59 seconds left. The Cyclones waited for the final shot, and Gollier narrowly missed a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
Ottawa built a 54-50 lead with 1:06 left in the third overtime, but a two consecutive turnovers put the Broncos right back in it. Following a Feeback bucket, KJ Savage lost the ball on a Spring Hill press that resulted in an easy transition layup for Nathan Ewing, senior. Spring Hill stole the ball again on the ensuing inbounds with 27 seconds left, setting up Feeback’s shot and subsequent foul on Johnson.
Devion Bethea, senior, finished with 17 points to lead the Cyclone offense. Krys and Kobe Johnson had 10 points apiece. Feeback led all scorers with 21 points.
It will be a challenge when Ottawa plays the Broncos again Feb. 23 in Spring Hill, and potentially the following week in sub-state, McCullough said. With Friday off, Ottawa focuses on the back half of its league schedule. The Cyclones play 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at De Soto.
“It is always a challenge because everybody has seen each other once,” McCullough said. “It is a grind, but it is time to go. Hopefully we’ve got this thing turned around and got the taste of winning back in our mouths.”
Ottawa (55) — Bethea 17, Krys Johnson 10, Kobe Johnson 10, White 8, Savage 6, Shaffer 2.
Spring Hill (54) — Feeback 21, Weber 20, Ewing 6, Towles 3, LaPlant 3.