OTTAWA — LaMoille-Ohio coach Kenny Shrimplin didn’t hide the significance of the Lions’ 79-71 double overtime win over Ottawa Marquette Saturday night.
“Honest to God truth, this is probably the biggest win of my career,” Shrimplin said. “I know how good Ottawa Marquette is. I know (coach) Todd Hopkins and how good he is. I respect him more than anything else right now. I knew that they were going to bring a tenacious defense at us. He always coaches great teams no matter what (sport) it is.
“I knew we had a chance if we played our game. I’m ecstatic right now.”
Tied 69-69 heading into the second extra session, LaMoille-Ohio (6-1) put the game away by making 7 of 10 from the charity stripe to outscore Marquette Academy 10- 2 for the eight-point victory.
LaMoille-Ohio 6-4 senior Carsen Cherry (22 points) led the way from the line by going 6 of 8 in the second overtime and 10 of 12 in the game for the Lions.
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It looked like Marquette was going to come away with a win in regulation, as the Cru led 60-57 only to watch Lions 5-10 senior Marcus Winn (21 points) drain a huge 3-point basket from the top of the key with :17 left to tie the game at 60-all.
The Crusaders had a chance to win at the buzzer, as Sean Kissel (22 points) jumped to tip in a rebound off of a miss from the 3-point line by Logan Nelson, but the attempt by Kissel bounced once on the rim and then away as the buzzer sounded, and the two teams went to overtime.
Marquette Academy 5-11 junior guard Nick Melvin kept the home team in the game in the second half, as he scored 17 of his team-high 24 points in the fourth quarter and first overtime.
With 53.6 seconds left in the first overtime and Marquette leading 66-64, Melvin missed a pair of free throws and Winn went down at the other end, was fouled and made a layup. By draining the ensuing and-1, he gave the Lions a 67-66 lead.
After an intentional foul was called on L-O with :46.4 left, Melvin was good on 1 of 2 from the line to tie the game at 67-all.
Another Winn layup at the 42-second mark restored the Lions’ two-point lead. Melvin helped send the game to a second overtime, as his basket tied the game at 69-all.
Also in double figures for LaMoille-Ohio were Luke Moore and Carter Cherry with 16 and 13 points.
A big difference in the game came from the free throw line where he Lions connected on 18 of 26 (69%), while the Crusaders struggled to make 8 of 20 (40%).
“Give LaMoille-Ohio credit, they outplayed us,” Hopkins said. “For the last three games, we just haven’t been able to hit our free throws. That’s a problem right now, and I’m confident that we will get it corrected.”