SPRINGFIELD – Dayton Northridge came from behind to beat Graham, 59-56, in the Division II boys basketball sectional on Friday.
The Falcons had 24 turnovers and allowed 16 offensive rebounds to the Polar Bears, with the second chances killing Graham later on. Even four versus two at the end of the game, Graham was unable to secure a rebound on a missed free throw that would have given it a possession down two points.
“We started practicing with nine guys defensively, to replicate their pressure. I think that helped us, because going back to five they thought ‘wow, this is so much easier.’ But obviously, with 24 turnovers, it’s hard to win,” GHS Coach Grant Hall said.
Graham (13-10) jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first quarter and led 13-4 after the opening period.
But the Polar Bears came back with a furious second-quarter rally, closing the gap to a single possession at 20-18 before eventually tying it up at 22-22.
The game remained tied at halftime, 31-31.
“We just wanted to do two things: Take care of the basketball and box out,” Hall said.
The Falcons did both in spurts, but the time in between their good basketball looked downright ugly and discombobulated, with Northridge forcing turnover after turnover.
“Basketball’s a game of runs, and they outran us,” Hall said. “But I’m proud of this team. Our seniors have had four coaches in four years. And to visualize where we started versus where we are now, it’s amazing.”
Brady King and Brevan King each scored 17 points for the Falcons, with Chase Adams adding 9.
Northridge advances to face Kenton Ridge on Tuesday, with the tip slated for 6 p.m.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.