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Connersville HS boys suffer loss on final shot in overtime, 60-59

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Connersville sophomore Jonah Graham releases a free throw at Shelbyville on Saturday. Graham finished with eight points in a 60-59 overtime loss to the Golden Bears. CHS fell to 2-2 on the season following the defeat.
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Connersville senior Dylan Logan, center, finds himself surrounded as he attempts to score at Shelbyville on Saturday evening. Logan and the Spartans suffered a 60-59 setback in overtime against the Golden Bears.

By The NEWS-EXAMINER

SHELBYVILLE — Fans for the Connersville High School boys team were at full roar when junior center Jacob Brown scored on an inbounds play with nine seconds to play in overtime against Shelbyville on Saturday evening, giving the Spartans a 59-58 lead.

But the game wasn’t over yet.

Seven seconds later, SHS’ Josh Williams tossed up an off-balance shot from the wing, and the ball banked its way into the basket, giving the Golden Bears a 60-59 win.

“That shot was almost a repeat of what Garrett (Silcott) hit last year against them,” Connersville head coach Kerry Brown said, referring to a buzzer-beater by the then-CHS senior, in CHS’ 35-34 victory over Shelbyville at Spartan Bowl. “Last year, we made the play and made the shot, so we know what it is like to be on the other side of something like this.”

Saturday’s game continued a series of incredibly close contests between the two schools in recent years. With the exception of the 2015 game, none of them have been decided by more than three points, and two of them have now gone to overtime.

“These have been exciting games, nearly every one of them,” Brown admitted, adding with a laugh, “We are old conference rivals, so maybe there is a little of that still simmering there. It’s a little strange that we keep having these kind of games, since we have such different philosophies. They like to really run with the ball, and we’re much more patient with it.”

“One think I know, is that this game has been a good pick up for both schools.”

Saturday’s game wound up in overtime, thanks in part to Garrett Wickes’ field goal with five seconds left in overtime his eighth point of the night tying the score at 50-50.

Neither team pulled ahead of the other by more than one score throughout the extra period.

Garrett Davis converted a pair of free throws with 27 seconds left, giving Shelbyville a 58-57 lead, setting up Brown’s shot that put the Spartans on top 18 ticks later.

Earlier in the night, overtime wasn’t on anyone’s mind, as CHS went on a 10-3 run in the second quarter to open up a six-point lead (23-17) with 5:02 left in the frame.

That lead didn’t hold, however.

“We ran into foul trouble with both of our ball-handlers, Noah (Belt) and Clay (Garrison),” coach Brown explained. “At the same time, Ethan (Smith) went down with an injury, so we were a little shorthanded at that point.”

By halftime, Shelbyville was in front, 26-23.

In the third, Connersville was back, however, the Spartans building a lead of five twice in the quarter, the last time on a Garrison 3-pointer with 3:20 left.

By the time the fourth quarter tipped off, however, the game was locked in a back-and-forth struggle, capped by the Wickes shot that sent the game into overtime.

Turnovers played a part in the loss, according to Brown.

“We had 22 turnovers in the game, and that’s far too many to win a close game like this one was,” he said. “We have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball.”

He added that there were some big positives in the loss as well.

“Defensively, that was our best effort of the year,” he said. “Offensively, we shot the ball really well. We finished with eight 3-pointers in the game, so I am pleased to see that. It all just comes back to that turnover thing.”

Garrison and Belt each finished with 17 points to lead CHS. Shelbyville was paced by both Williams and Zach Kuhn, both of whom dropped in 21.

In the junior varsity match, Cole Martin led a balanced scoring effort with eight points, carrying the CHS reserves to a 39-31 victory. Riley Moore added six points, and Carter Bodwell checked in with five for the Spartans.

 

GOLDEN BEARS 60, SPARTANS 59 (OT)

(at Shelbyville)

Connersville 14 9 14 13 9 — 59

Shelbyville 14 12 12 12 10 — 60

Connersville (2-2) — Cole Garrison 6-10 1-1 17, Garrett Wickes 3-5 0-0 8, Dylan Logan 0-1 0-0 0, Noah Belt 7-12 3-3 17, Jacob Brown 4-6 0-0 8, Ethan Smith 0-1 1-2 1, Jonah Graham 2-6 2-2 8, Colton Sullenbarger 0-0 0-0 0, Damon Huffman 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS — 22-41 7-8 59.

Shelbyville (3-1) — Josh Williams 7-14 5-7 21, Garrett Davis 1-5 2-2 4, Zach Kuhn 7-15 5-7 21, D.J. Kramer 3-8 1-1 8, Luke Asher 2-5 2-4 6, Mitch Yeend 0-0 0-0 0, T.J. Sherwood 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS — 20-47 15-21 60.

3-pointers Connersville 8-15 (Garrison 4-4, Wickes 2-4, Graham 2-6, Belt 0-1), Shelbyville 5-20 (Williams 2-4, Kuhn 2-9, Kramer 1-4, Davis 0-3). Rebounds — Connersville 23 (Brown 11, Belt 6, Graham 2, Garrison 2, Wickes, Logan), Shelbyville 20 (Asher 7, Kuhn 4, Yeend 3, Williams 4, Davis 2). Assists — Connersville 11 (Logan 3, Belt 3, Garrison 2, Wickes, Brown, Smith), Shelbyville 8 (Kramer 3, Williams 3, Davis, Kuhn 1). Steals — Connersville 3 (Belt 2, Garrison 1), Shelbyville 5 (Williams 3, Kuhn 2). Blocks — Shelbyville 3 (Williams, Kuhn, Asher). Turnovers— Connersville 22, Shelbyville 12. Fouled out — Shelbyville 1 (Kuhn). Total fouls: Connersville 17, Shelbyville 14.

JUNIOR VARSITY

Spartans 39, Golden Bears 31

Connersville 15 22 30 39

Shelbyville 2 7 14 31

Connersville — Carter Bodwell 2 0-0 5, Tobey Billups 0 0-1 0, Tanner Brock 2 0-0 4, Luke Garrison 0 0-0 0, Luke Sullenbarger 1 1-2 3, Riley Moore 3 0-0 6, Sebastian Burch 1 0-0 2, Kaleb Sparks 1 0-1 2, Trevor Young 0 3-4 3, Damon Huffman 3 0-0 6, Cole Martin 4 0-1 8. TOTALS — 17 4-9 39.

Shelbyville — TOTALS 11 3-7 31.

3-pointers — Connersville 1 (Bodwell). Total fouls — Connersville 15 (Billups 4, Young 3, Bodwell 2, Brock, Garrison, Sullenbarger, Moore, Sparks, Martin).