MONROE—Huge plays by Nick Baumer and Pierce Harris late in overtime Friday night at the Hangar spurred Adams Central to a pulsating 49-47 ACAC nail biter over the Heritage Patriots.
Baumer was johnny-on-the-spot for the Jets with :22.2 remaining and the AC lads down 47-46 when he grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed shot by Dalton Combs. Baumer's put back went in and he was fouled sending him to the foul line where he completed the traditional three-point play for the 49-47 score.
Heritage called time out with :18.3 left and worked the ball down to senior Zac Toles who drove the lane with only a few ticks left in the game. Harris came up to challenge the shot and it rolled off the rim with the rebound gobbled up by Harris with :01.2 reading on the clock.
Toles fouled Harris who missed both free throws but the Pats were out of timouts and had to rely on a 70 foot heave which landed harmlessly far away from the basket.
Heritage coach Brad Kiess despondently noted "both teams played hard. It just comes down to the fact they (AC) made one more play than we did. Both teams made critical plays but there in the fourth period, Adams Central came up with some offensive rebounds for baskets that really hurt us."
Adams Central boss Aaron McClure agreed that offensive rebounding was a huge key for the Jets.
"It's about hustle and positioning. Obviously, the bucket Nick had there at the end was really huge. It was a great game and a great win for us. It keeps us alive in the conference race at 4-1 and we'll get a shot at Leo next week (one of two undefeated teams left in the ACAC)."
One of the most bizarre plays of the game occurred with 2:18 to play in the fourth period. At that point, Adams Central had never led in the game (the game had been tied once in the third period at 25-25) and Heritage was attempting to milk a narrow 38-37 lead. Heritage held the ball for nearly two minutes until Combs alertly stole the ball away from a player and tried to go all the way for a leading basket only to apparently have his shot cleanly blocked.
There was no whistle and no foul called on the play, but somehow, the blocked ball squirted straight up in the air and when it came down it found the middle of the AC hoop and suddenly the Jets had their first lead at 39-38.
Isaac Luginbill, who led the Jets in scoring with 15 overall, added two free throws (the Jets were 14-23 for the game from the line but nailed all six they took in the fourth stanza) to spur the Jet faithful on even more but Heritage rallied as Wil Knapke hit what at that point was the first three-shot shot Heritage had taken in the game with 1:07 left for a 41-41 tilt.
Things got interesting in the final minute.
With 10 seconds left to play, Heritage's Brenton Lockett knocked the ball away from Luginbill at mid-court and it rolled out-of-bounds. The official at mid-court was blocked from seeing who touched it last and another official ruled Patriot ball.
After a Jet foul, the Pats passed it around to Knapke who tried his second trey of the night but this one banged off the rim at the buzzer forcing an extra four minutes of play.
Combs and Knapke exchanged baskets for a 43-43 contest with 2:53 left and what could have been a potential momentum move for the Jets came at 2:36 when Alex Byerly drained a trey from the left corner. While the shot was in the air, a Heritage player underneath was called for a pushing shot and after Byerly's three-ball was counted, Baumer went to the line for a one-and-one.