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Wallace's free throws lift Jeff past Harrison in OT
January 20, 2013Lafayette Jefferson High School
It began with a forgettable first half — almost as many turnovers as points and nearly enough bricks to build another Crawley Center.
Yet that ugly start between Harrison and Lafayette Jeff yielded to drama, including eight lead changes in the fourth quarter and overtime and two clutch baskets in the final 20 seconds of regulation.
Perhaps it was fitting that Broncho senior Lucas Wallace, who hadn’t hit a shot all night, scored the deciding points. His free throws with 9.8 seconds left lifted Jeff to a 39-37 overtime victory.
While the Bronchos (5-9, 2-3 Hoosier Crossroads Conference) let a fourth-quarter lead slip away for the third straight game, they recovered to avenge their 55-50 loss to Harrison in the opening round of the J&C Hoops Classic.
“Coming into that locker room after the game, it was awesome,” said Jeff senior Peter Ripke, who scored 12 points. “Coach was pumped, everyone was pumped — just a great feeling. We’ve got to keep it rolling and go into these next few games and practices with a high mentality and just work hard.”
Harrison (6-6, 0-5) used a timeout to set up a play after Wallace’s free throws. The inbounds pass went to Taylon Sondgerath, who led the Raiders with nine points and seven rebounds, but his shot from 10 feet did not fall.
The Raiders rallied from a 28-21 deficit to start the fourth quarter and might have won with one more defensive rebound. Wallace missed a shot with 6.5 seconds left in regulation, but the ball glanced off a Harrison leg and out of bounds.
With a second chance, the inbounding Wallace found Tyler Buchanan underneath the basket for a game-tying layup.
“They just got that one shot at the end, and we couldn’t hit our shots,” said Harrison senior Cole Smith, whose putback with about 28 seconds left in overtime had tied the game, 37-37. “It was back and forth the whole game.”
Lafayette Jeff enjoyed a great third quarter, hitting 8 of 9 field goal tries and scoring 19 points. The rest of the night, the teams combined to make just 22 of 88 shots.
arrison employed a physical man-to-man approach, getting in the face of Jeff’s shooters and holding leading scorers Buchanan and Quarin Hood to 10 combined points. The Bronchos opted for a 2-3 zone that denied passing angles to the post and forced Harrison to score from the perimeter.
That contributed to the Raiders’ 0-for-13 3-point shooting performance through 31-plus minutes. But sophomore Cade Renicker stepped up in transition and drained a 3 — his only basket of the night — with 16.2 seconds left in regulation to give Harrison a short-lived 33-31 lead.
“We had a brief conversation before he went in the game and said, if you have space, you have to shoot the ball,” Harrison coach Mark Rinehart said. “They would not honor us on the perimeter, and we have to be selective, but we have to shoot it when we have opportunities.
“He made a huge shot; it gave us the momentum. But they made a play to get it into overtime, and they made more plays than us in overtime.”
Harrison led 11-9 at the end of a first half that featured 19 turnovers and 19.5 percent field goal shooting.
Wallace was 0 for 11 from the field and 0 for 3 at the line before his winning free throws. But he also took a potentially critical charge with Jeff protecting a 31-30 lead with 29.1 seconds left in regulation and made the correct read when assisting on Buchanan’s tying basket.
Lafayette Jeff freshman Darian Collins scored 11 of his game-high 13 points in the first three quarters. Already the team leader in steals, Collins added six more to his total on Friday.
“He’s getting better every time he steps on the floor,” Jeff coach Scott Radeker said. “He’s not really playing like a freshman anymore. He’s handling the ball in big situations, he’s getting stops for us defensively, and touches. I told him a few games ago, as far as I’m concerned you’re not a freshman anymore, so don’t play like one.”