Wildcats claw past Bobcats in OT win
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 12:07 a.m.
If there was ever an example on how valuable free throw shooting is in basketball, Buchholz certainly reaffirmed it Wednesday night at Bud Seymour Gymnasium.
The Bobcats, looking to knock off District 1-7A frontrunner Ocala Forest, hit on just 7 of 18 from the line for the game and 3 of 6 in overtime in falling to the Wildcats, 61-59.
The setback overshadowed an outstanding performance by senior Dedric Ross, who had a game-high 23 points and was a perfect 2-for-2 at the line. Instead, Buchholz dropped to 10-12 overall and 1-5 in District 1-7A, with four of those losses by five points or less.
“When you go 7 of 18 from the foul line you shouldn't win a game,” said Bobcats coach Bob Horodyski. “When you are that inept from the foul line you don't deserve to win.
“Give Forest credit, they won the game because they could step up and make free throws and we couldn't. Offensively we were fine, defensively we were fine, but when you miss 11 free throws, you leave the game out there. And we did.”
Ross had 11 of his points in the second period as Buchholz clinged to a 30-28 lead over Forest at the half.
A 3-pointer by James Arvin and inside basket from Ross match the Bobcats' biggest lead of the game (41-36), but the Wildcats whittled it to three (43-40) heading into the fourth. The Wildcats went on a 11-3 run to open their own five-point lead (51-46) with 2:10 left in the game. But the Bobcats responded and a late 3-pointer from sophomore Bryan Chalifoux to tie the game at 51-all, which stood up as regulation ended, forcing overtime.
Another basket by Chalifoux, who finished with 15 points, put Buchholz ahead 58-55 with 1:21 remaining. But two free throws by Zach Davis, who had 17 points on the game, and a huge three-point play from sophomore center Geron Christian, who finished with a team-high 18, put Forest ahead to stay at 60-59.
Dale Whitehead's baseline jumper with 15 seconds left missed for Buchholz, and Davis rebounded it for the Wildcats and was fouled. He connected on 1 of 2 free throw attempts and Forest capped its district schedule with a perfect 7-0 record and improved 17-4 overall.
The Wildcats will enter district tournament as the top seed when it starts on Feb. 5 at Tallahassee Lincoln.
“We continue to preach to the guys to play defense and one possession at a time,” said Wildcat coach Steve Powell. “To just keep fighting and keep working. It doesn't matter if we get down in overtime, four minutes is a long time. The guys kept fighting and they kept believing we had an opportunity to win this game.”
Next up for Buchholz is hosting the annual Bobcat Shootout, which begins on Friday and continues on Saturday.
On Friday, Buchholz takes on Newberry at 6 p.m., followed by Naples Golden Gate against Brooksville Hernando at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Cornerstone faces Newberry at 3 p.m., followed by Buchholz against Golden Gate at 4:30 p.m. and Eastside taking on Melbourne at 6 p.m.
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