WEST LAFAYETTE The game was basketball but it looked like something out of a football playbook. With 3.8 seconds to play, quarterback Chris Saylor took the snap and tossed the ball to running back Dillion McPherson. Instead of running, McPherson turned and launched a pass deep down the middle of the field to wide receiver Tanner Stoffer, who caught the ball in stride in the middle of the field, took two steps toward the goal line while outmaneuvering a defender, and laid the ball into the end zone for the winning score as time ran out.
That played capped a wild comeback by the Generals, who were down nine points at 55-46 with 4:26 to play, giving the hosts a 60-59 win over arch-rival Newcomerstown.
Stoffer, who was a hungry beast for the ball in the final eight minutes, came through with a season-high 32 points while repeating his heroics of a week ago when he hit the game-winner against Garaway. That bucket also came with less then three seconds in the game.
For a few moments though, it looked instead like Newcomerstowns Cody Sproat was going to be the hero of the game as he hit two free throws with the same 3.8 on the clock, giving the Trojans a one-point lead at 59-58.
But the play the Generals ran afterwards was no fluke, as head coach Alan Keesee said afterwards that his team runs the play in practice often for tight games like this.
It was a tough loss for the Trojans (3-10, 0-8 IVC), who played the first half of their IVC schedule without a league win and led much of the game in their all-out assault to turn things around.
Trailing 44-42 after three quarters, the Generals quickly tied it at 44 at the outset of the final period. But an 11-2 run, including eight points on the strength of two treys by sophomore Austin King, put the Trojans up by a seemingly commanding nine points at 55-46.
But Stoffer could not be contained the rest of the way as he scored a whopping 16 points in the fourth quarter alone. The General comeback from the deficit included five free throws, two jumpers, and a three-pointer by Stoffer, plus a bucket by McPherson. During that stretch, Newcomerstown only managed three free throws from Sproat and one from Paul Mathews.
Both teams hurt themselves at the foul line with the Generals going 14 of 23 (61%) and the Trojans hitting 14 of 26 (54%). Numerous missed attempts in the second half, especially on the front end of one-and-one situations, could have given the Trojans the victory.
Newcomerstown led 10-8 after the first quarter and 28-25 by halftime. The Generals forged to a 35-32 lead in the third quarter before the Trojans came back with a 12-7 run, including three-pointers from Mathews and Eric Rose, to regain their advantage by 44-42 as the fourth period began.
Sproat came through with 19 points to lead the Trojans while King scored 12. Chris Poe added 11 points, Mathews finished with eight, and Rose added seven.
For the Generals (11-2, 6-2 IVC), Grove and McPherson scored 12 apiece. Grove also came through with eight rebounds and four steals.
The Trojans rolled in the reserve game 54-15. Bret Burrier led Newcomerstown with 11 points while Seth Bergeron also had 11 for Ridgewood.
Newcomerstown 10 18 16 25 - 59
Ridgewood 8 17 17 18 - 60
Triway 82, Indian Valley 79
WOOSTER The Braves saw their win streak come to an end but not without a fight as they fell to the Titans 82-70 in PAC-7 action on Friday.
In a high scoring first quarter, Triway moved out to a 30-23 lead but both teams cooled down in the second quarter with both putting up just 13. That made the halftime score 43-36 in the Titans favor.
Triway moved out further with a 22-14 third quarter that seemingly put them in command 65-50 at the fourth period began. But a 29-17 run by the Braves made things interesting in the final eight minutes although they did come up short.
Brett Cox and Jamie MacAdam were both on fire as each scored 25 points to lead Indian Valley (3-11, 2-6 PAC). Cox led the team in rebounds with a game-high 14. Ian Kandray finished with 11 points and Shawn Mills added seven.
Triway (3-7, 3-4 PAC) was led by Dan Grenerts 26 points.
Indian Valley 23 13 14 29 - 79
Triway 30 13 22 17 - 82
Rosecrans 58, Newcomerstown 27
ZANESVILLE A tough night on the offensive end for the Trojans resulted in a 58-27 setback to host Bishop Rosecrans in non-league action on Tuesday.
Newcomerstown struggled to score all night, only able to put up a total of nine points in the first half to trail 22-9 at the intermission. Rosecrans poured it on in the second half, outscoring the visiting Trojans by a 36-18 margin to coast to victory.
Zak Kirkbride pumped in 19 points to lead Rosecrans (9-3) while Aaron Parry added 13 and Jared Dalton finished with eight points.
Newcomerstown (3-9) was led by junior Chris Poe with eight points while seniors Cody Sproat and Eric Rose each added seven.
The Trojans won the reserve game 37-32.
Newcomerstown 6 3 5 13 - 27
Rosecrans 14 8 14 22 - 58
Ridgewood 65, East Richland Christian 19
WEST LAFAYETTE The Generals blasted East Richland Christian 65-19 in non-conference game on Tuesday.
A 23-7 first quarter for Ridgewood set the tone for the game as the Orange and Black coasted to a 31-10 halftime lead. The Generals captured the second half by a 34-9 count.
Leading the way for Ridgewood (9-3, 5-2 IVC) were Tanner Stoffer with 15 points while Chris Saylor and Ryan Lowe each scored 11. Zak Keesee also cracked double figures with 10.
Chris Surface had eight points for East Richland.
Indian Valley 65, Tuslaw 63
GNADENHUTTEN The Braves won their third straight game as they defeated the Mustangs 65-63 in a PAC-7 game on Tuesday. The win avenged an earlier 72-53 loss to the same team back in December.
The Braves took a 12-10 first quarter lead and kept their two-point advantage by halftime as both teams scored 13 in the second quarter.
A 19-14 outburst by Indian Valley in the third period put the team up 45-37 as the fourth stanza began. The Mustangs fell short in their comeback bid as they outscored the Braves 26-21 in the final eight minutes.
Jamie MacAdam had a game-high 18 points to lead Indian Valley (3-10, 2-5 PAC). Brennan Rentsch was close behind with 16 points while Brett Cox was strong with 15 points and nine rebounds. Shawn Mills added 10 points.
Tuslaw 10 13 14 26 - 63
Indian Valley 12 13 19 21 - 65