ST. PARIS – Graham’s frenetic, full-court defense caused problems for Northeastern and the Falcons won a tight 61-57 game in overtime in non-league boys basketball on Monday.
“It was good for the guys. It was good to get a win and maybe we’ll build off that. We talked about believing,” GHS Coach Mike Smart said.
The Falcons took a 30-23 lead into halftime thanks to a flurry of forced turnovers and some timely shooting.
“We’ve been doing a nice job running the press and getting a breakaway or two,” Smart said.
Andrew Ford led the home team with 19 points.
Graham led 47-43 with 40 seconds left in regulation and had possession, but the Jets were able to tie it up with excellent clock management and foul shooting.
Graham held a slight edge late in overtime when Smart dialed up a trick play during an inbounding situation.
Tyler Powell was to streak toward Ford, the inbounder, and draw his man into the out-of-bounds area, where Ford would then throw the ball off the defender and induce a technical foul. The defending team is not permitted to touch the ball before the possessing team inbounds it.
The plan worked almost to perfection, except Powell caught the ball out of bounds before it hit the defender. He then quickly passed it off the Northeastern player, whose momentum had carried him out of bounds with Powell.
The end result was the same: a pair of free throws and possession to Graham, which salted the game away.
“We had that play set up for Ford to throw it off the defender,” Smart said. “Well, Tyler ended up catching the ball and throwing it off the guy himself. We’ve done that before but it’s never worked. That sort of iced it.”
Graham also won the jayvee game, 57-26. Matt Goddard had 13 points to lead the Falcons in that one, while Chase Adams had 11 and Tristen Henry scored 10.
Graham hosts Xenia Christian on Dec. 29.