WABASH — What's the difference between winning and losing?
How about making a foul-line rim-rattler at six-tenths of a second vs. missing a 45-footer off the rear rim and glass?
That's how Adams Central, thanks to Keaton Fiechter's huge final goal, assured itself of a winning 2010-11 season on Tuesday night with a 60-58 decision over gritty Southwood.
"We sneaked it out on the road," said relieved AC head coach Aaron McClure of his 11-6 Flying Jet squad as it hung on against Southwood comebacks from deficits of 53-43 at 4:03 and 57-49 at 1:26.
Fiechter was the main man down the stretch as he created a held ball to gave the Jets possession at 2:11 with a 55-49 lead, then sank three of four free throws: two at 1:26 for the 57-49 lead and one at 1:08 for a 58-52 margin.
However, the homestanding Knights got a monster three at 53 seconds from Levi Winget for a 58-55 score, then the Jets lost the ball out of bounds at 42.5 seconds.
Southwood's Conner Hobbs threaded his way through AC's defense for a layup at 18.6 seconds and was fouled. His all-net FT tied the contest and set the stage for Fiechter's winner and Hobb's failed final fling.
The Jets inbounded at 18.6 seconds and Southwood was in its half-court defense. AC made couple of passes and the ball wound up in Fiechter's hands at about five seconds. He dribbled twice to the stripe, lifted, and let fly at about two seconds.
By the time the ball counted and Southwood called time out, just six-tenths remained, but that was enough for what turned out to be a very decent attempt. Winget passed the ball in to Hobbs, who bounced once several feet ahead of half-court on the 84-foot floor, then launched his salvo.
It was also Hobbs who had a dramatic play to end the first quarter. As time ticked away, he tried to fire a half-court shot, but was hacked by a Jet, so he was awarded three free tosses with no time showing and no one on the lane. He made each shot to slash the AC lead to 14-13.
Maverick Baumer topped Central with 14 points (including another dunk) and seven rebounds and Ben Snider had his best game of the year with 13 points, seven rebounds, and five blocks as he regains his footing (literally and figuratively) after missing the first third of the season with a foot injury in football. Snider was looking for the ball and being aggressive with it on offense and against it on defense.
Isaac Luginbill fired in 10 points (including a Kobe-like scoop layup in traffic) and had three steals and three rebounds.
Nathan Busse put up nine points and three rebounds and Keaton Fiechter got seven points, five rebounds, and four assists.
Southwood (7-9, having lost five straight) was led by Hobb's 17 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks; Collin Huston's 15 points as he made five of eight threes in the first quarter, but did not shoot again; and 11 points and 11 rebounds by Dalton Gentry.