DANVILLE — Wayne County coach Rogeric Turner thought the final 10 seconds of his team’s 56-53 victory over Carl Sandburg College felt more like 30 seconds.
That’s because Carl Sandburg forward Aaron Powers had two shots from 3-point range to send the game into overtime. Thankfully for the Wildcats, neither shot was on the mark as Wayne County claimed its first-ever victory in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament at the Mary Miller Gymnasium on the campus of Danville Area Community College.
“I didn’t want to see a 3-ball go up and what do we do, we run underneath to get the guy under the basket and gave up a 3-ball look at the end,’’ said Turner. “Each of my players pointed at each other. That’s something we have to talk about. Hopefully, it doesn’t happen again. We dodged a major bullet this morning.’’
Powers, who finished with nine points and nine rebounds for the Chargers, actually opened the game with a 3-pointer and he was trying to send it into overtime with a long-range shot at the end of regulation.
Carl Sandburg coach Ryan Twaddle had a different play called on the inbounds, but the Chargers, who are also making their first-ever appearance in Danville, was forced to call a timeout to avoid a five-second call.
That’s when Twaddle decided to try something new.
“We drew up a play that we have never ran before,’’ he said. “We wanted to do something that Wayne County hadn’t seen on film. The kids did a great job and we got two great looks. The ball goes in or it doesn’t.’’
Wayne County’s Paul Standtke, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, couldn’t have picked a better time for his only basket, as his offensive rebound bucket with 49.6 seconds left gave the Wildcats a 55-53 lead.