The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

December 21, 2013

Mustangs rally past Ramblers

BY GREG FLINT sports@dancomnews.com
The Commercial-News

---- — VEEDERSBURG, Ind. – Fountain Central came from six-points down in the final three minutes to defeat Attica in boys’ basketball by the score of 60-55.

The Mustangs trailed 52-46 after Brady Sheridan of Attica made a free throw that resulted from the fifth foul on Fountain Central center Doug Wallace. The Red Ramblers then called a time out and started to spread the floor on every possession.

“We did what I wanted us to do,” said Attica coach Chuck Hutchins about the final three minutes. “We kept the ball and didn’t turn it over.”

They did not make any mistakes in that span, but their opponents made big plays in the final three minutes.

Four times in the space of 1:50, Attica got what appeared to be an open drive to the basket for a lay-up but each time a Fountain Central player blocked the shot and the Mustangs came away with the ball.

“They made the big plays,” said Hutchins. “It’s not like we gave it to them – they earned it.”

Ethan Woodrow hit a jumper to pull his team within four, then, after a free throw by Kenny Little of Attica, he hit a three-pointer.

The Ramblers pushed the lead back up when Bryce Cooper drove to the basket, but their next two possessions ended in blocked shots.

That led to a banked-in trey by Koby Pierce that made it a one-point game. Then Woodrow put the Mustangs ahead to stay at 56-55 with 47 second left when he hit a short jumper from the baseline.

He would go on to hit a total of four consecutive free throws on the next two Mustang possessions to make the final score 60-55.

Woodrow talked about that final three minutes, saying, “Coach called a time out and told us to calm down, take the ball inside and not settle for three’s. He told us to be more aggressive going inside and I think we were.”

His coach, Jason Good, said it was all about overcoming panic.

“We seemed tired and panicked so I took a time out to try to get them over it,” he said. “We still seemed a little panicked – we took that banked-in three – but we eventually started doing what we needed to do to get back into it.”

Earlier in the contest, it seemed as if the Mustangs were going to pull away from the Ramblers. They got a double-digit lead with 2:06 left in the second quarter when Pierce hit a trey, but Attica fought back or, according to Good, Fountain Central gave them an opportunity to get back into it.

“We had a chance to make it a really big lead, but we got impatient on defense,” he explained. “Usually you get impatient on offense, but this time it was our defense. We started trying to get steals every time they had the ball. We’d miss and they’d get to the basket and we only led by a few [five, 36-31] at the half.”

Attica took the lead as the teams came out from intermission as Little and Cooper both hit treys to make it 37-36. From there, the teams traded the lead with the Mustangs up 41-40 after three quarters.

The Ramblers made a run in the fourth quarter to take the six-point lead that set up the final Mustang heroics.

“We could have played better,” said Good of his team, “but we did what we needed to do to get the win and that’s what matters.”

Hutchins said his team “did a lot of positive things” but said that Fountain Central deserved credit for the win.

“They made the big plays at the end they had to have,” he said. “We didn’t play poorly and actually got a lot of what we wanted, but we missed a couple of free throws and a shot or two while they made their plays.”

Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at gfphoto@gfphoto-web.com