Lincolnview sophomore Chandler Adams lets go of a long field goal attempt in this file photo from a NWC game at Allen East earlier this season. Adams pumped in seven points during the Lincolnview in over Grove on Friday night. (Times Bulletin file photo)
By Jim Cox
Times Bulletin Correspondent
COLUMBUS GROVE — It was a wild game Friday night with eight ties and 17 lead changes. The 17th lead change, though, came on a second-overtime Kyle Williams three-pointer from the left wing that hit nothing but net as the clock hit 0:00, giving Lincolnview a huge, 59-57 win over Columbus Grove.
The win puts the Lancers at 6-3 overall and 3-0 in the Northwest Conference. The Bulldogs are 5-3 and 1-1.
The second overtime started with a put-back by Grove’s 6-7 center, Will Vorhees, giving the home team a 55-53 lead. After a Lancer miss, Vorhees hit two free throws to up the lead to 57-53. Lincolnview’s Hayden Ludwig rattled in a jumper from the foul line area to cut the lead to two, 57-55, at the 1:25 mark.
Lancer center Connor McCleery then deflected a Bulldog pass and was fouled going after the loose ball. At 0:57 he hit the first free throw and missed the second, but rebounded his own miss. Lincolnview then misfired, and Grove snared the rebound, but a tie-up and the possession arrow gave the ball back to the Lancers, setting up Williams’ game-winner.
Lancer coach Brett Hammons seemed remarkably calm afterwards.
“(The play) wasn’t quite there, but he (Williams) found a way to get free to get up a shot to win the game for us, and it went in,” said Hammons. “I was pleased with our guys. We faced adversity. We were up seven there in the fourth quarter, and they fought all the way back. We had opportunities in overtime. I just told our kids we need to keep playing free basketball. It was a great battle between two good teams, and luckily we were able to make the play at the end.”
There was a ton of drama prior to the second extra period, however. There was no lead bigger than four points until the Dogs went up 38-32 late in the third quarter. That’s when Lincolnview took over, temporarily. Austin Leeth swished a three from the left corner to end the period at 38-35, Columbus Grove.
Leeth’s trey was only the start of a 17-4 Lancer run that put the visitors up 49-42 with 3:58 remaining in the game. There were four three-point plays in that run — two by Williams, one by Chandler Adams and one by Justis Dowdy. With a win in their grasp, however, the Lancers missed three straight front-ends from the free throw line, leading to a 7-0 Bulldog run, a 49-49 tie, and overtime.
At the beginning of the first overtime, Grove’s Logan Diller was fouled on a defensive rebound, but he missed the front-end. McCleery rebounded Diller’s miss, was fouled, and swished both ends of the double bonus — 51-49, Lincolnview, at 3:44.
Vorhees drained a 15-foot baseline jumper to tie it, but McCleery’s layup via a Leeth assist made it 53-51. Grove’s Jace Darbyshire tied it at 53 with an eight-foot runner at 2:02. An offensive foul on Vorhees and two more missed Lincolnview free throws left the score at 53-53, creating the second extra period.
The first half was as close as it gets. The only times the margin was bigger than two points were at 6-3, Lincolnview, and 23-19, Grove, the latter coming on a buzzer-beating layup by Vorhees at the end of the half. It was more of the same in the third period with the lead going back and forth until a 6-0 Bulldog run gave them the aforementioned 38-32 lead.
The field goal shooting was nearly identical, Grove hitting 47 percent (22-of-47), Lincolnview 46 percent (22-of-48). There was a big difference, however, in the other stats. The Lancers turned the ball over only seven times, an amazing number for a double-overtime game, while the Bulldogs had 20 miscues. On the other hand, Columbus Grove dominated the boards 30-17 and hit 79 percent (11-of-14) of their free throws, while Lincolnview hit only 50 percent (9-of-18) from the line.
McCleery, Williams and Leeth led Lancer scoring with 15, 11 and 11. Vorhees, Darbyshire and Riley Brubaker had 21, 13 and 11 for Grove.
With five seconds left in the junior varsity game, Grove’s Colton Grothaus hit two free throws to win it 36-34. The Bulldogs (7-1) were led in scoring by Tanner Neu and Rece Rones with 10 points apiece. Derek Youtsey and Josh Leiter had 14 and 10 for Lincolnview (7-2).
Score by quarters:
Columbus Grove 12 11 15 11 4 4- 57
Lincolnview 13 6 16 14 4 6- 59
Columbus Grove (57) individual scoring
Darbyshire 13, Brubaker 11, Warnecke 4, Vorhees 21, Bogart 0, Clement 6, Diller 2, Jones 0, Neu 0
Lincolnview (59) individual scoring
Leeth 11, Williams 11, Dowdy 9, Adams 7, McCleery 15, Miller 1, Farmer 3, Ludwig 2.