GEL leaders escape Lesta Joubert Gym
Down 64-61 with five seconds to play, Marysville High's Kyle Newman ran around a pick and took a pass on the right wing with his back to the basket.
He turned to shoot but ran into a wall of three Capital Christian defenders, with 6-foot, 9-inch Matt Simpkins staring down at him in the middle.
Newman ducked his head, stepped to his right through the wall of blue-clad bodies, and threw up an impossible 3-point runner.
His shot hit the inside of the rim, spun once around the inside, then rolled out and off the backboard into the hands of David Olson, who put back a lay-in at the buzzer to leave Marysville one-point short, 64-63, in a Golden Empire League game against Capital Christian at Lesta Joubert Gym Wednesday.
“The ball just didn't bounce our way, because that ball went as far down in the basket as it could,” said Marysville coach Brian Lowe.
Newman scored 24 points for the Indians (15-8, 6-5) to lead all scorers. Mike Walker had 16 points and Olson added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Simpkins had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the GEL-leading Cougars (21-3, 10-1). Travis Parker added 14 points and Nate Garth added 10.
Marysville trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half, but a 16-5 run to open the third quarter put the Indians ahead for the first time, 40-38, at the 2:43 mark.
A 10-0 Capital Christian run to end the third and open the fourth put the Cougars back up by nine, 53-44, with 5:45 left to play.
But two high-post cutters by Wesley Lane sparked a 14-7 run that pulled Marysville within two, 58-56 with the clock down to 1:37.
“Our high pick up top was just brutal for them,” Lowe said.
The teams traded buckets on the next two possessions before Lane fouled Xavier Walton for a Capital Christian one-and-one with 26 seconds left.
Walton made the first and missed the second, but the rebound went to Parker and Capital Christian called a timeout.
Lane again fouled on the inbound play, fouling out to send Garth to the line with 21.5 left. Garth made both free throws to give the Cougars a 63-58 lead.
But Newman kept the Indians alive, draining a three-point shot around a defender from the left corner to make it 63-61 with 13 seconds to play.
Newman fouled Simpkins on the ensuing inbound play, sending the big man to the line with 10.5 seconds left.
Simpkins made the first and missed the second, and Newman came away with the rebound. He called timeout to set up the final possession to end the game.
“I have no complaints about our effort tonight,” Lowe said. “I think those guys felt that they were going to come in here and just walk over us. I don't think they feel that way now.”
Appeal-Democrat reporter Nathan D. Collier can be reached at 749-4714. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.