Western Tech senior Kole Beaman hit a game-tying fadeaway jumper with 1.3 seconds left in regulation to tie the game against visiting Lansdowne, then scored seven of his game-high 34 points in overtime, leading the Wolverines to a 67-59 victory.
Beaman had attempted to win the game with a 3-point attempt from well beyond the arc with seven seconds left, but missed and the long rebound was tipped to Beaman, who hit the miracle from just inside the 3-point line to tie the game at 52.
“I saw where the miss was going and I really didn’t want to lose that game, so I hustled and got the ball and stayed confident and I made the second one,” Beaman said. “I feel like if I shoot the ball, I should make it and I just wanted the ball. I’m always confident even though my shot was off today, I just stayed confident so I shot the ball and it went in.”
He hit a 3-pointer from the corner with less than two seconds left on the shot clock to give the Wolverines a 55-52 lead early in the overtime.
“I‘ve only known him for two years and I’ve seen him go through some wars and nothing has phased him, period. Offseason, during the games, nothing,” first-year coach Frank Collins said.
“[Beaman] hit a couple real tough shots and there was nothing we could do, but if we secure that rebound, we are not in that situation,” Lansdowne coach Steve Coursey said. “We kind of hung our heads for a second and we couldn’t bounce back from it.”
Two free throws by Angelo Harris with 3:07 left in overtime cut the lead to 55-54, but a putback by Amorie Moody kept the Wolverines ahead.
Lansdowne’s Michael Oduniyi tied it at 57 with a trey with 2:22 left, but an offensive rebound and three-point play by Jamabo William West put Western Tech back ahead with 2:01 left.
A steal by Lawrence Omonua led to a basket by Micah Viner, before Ryan Kehoe’s basket from the foul line made it a one-possession game with 31 seconds left.
Beaman knocked down four straight free throws and Viner made one to seal the victory.
Western Tech was 17-for-27 from the foul line, including 6-for-7 in overtime, while Lansdowne was 11-for-26.
“[Free throws] and giving up offensive rebounds killed us,” Coursey said.
After the score was tied at 13 after the first quarter, Lansdowne started the second quarter with an 8-0 and led at the half, 30-26. The lead could have been larger, but the Vikings committed 11 of their 32 turnovers in the second quarter against the Wolverines’ pressure defense.
“If we could cut five or six turnovers out we would have five or six wins,” said Coursey, whose Vikings are 2-8.
Western Tech, playing without two point guards (Brandon Key and Tenola Olaniyi) was led defensively by Moody, who finished with nine steals.
Lansdowne’s Trevor Howard had six points in the third quarter and the Vikings led 42-39 going into the fourth. That’s when Beaman took over the game, scoring 16 points in the final 12 minutes.
“This was our grittiest win of the season,” Beaman said. “I was just off today, but I’m happy we pulled off the win.”
Lansdowne’s Coursey saw some positive signs in the close loss, but knows his team has to get over the hump.
“That’s the hardest we’ve played all season,” he said.
Western Tech 67, Lansdowne 59
WT-Kole Beaman 34, Amorie Moody 13, Jamabo William West 11, Melah Viner 5, Lawrence Omonua 4; L-Angelo Harris 20, Trevor Howard 13, Jon Wiley 12, Michael Oduniyi 10, Ryan Kehoe 3, Justin Myers 1
Halftime: 30-26, Lansdowne