KETTERING – They don’t ask how, they just ask if. Survive and advance. That’s exactly what Clinton-Massie did in an overtime thriller versus Ross in a Division II sectional game at Kettering Fairmont’s Trent Arena Friday.
With their 61-54 victory, the Falcons (18-5) will advance to play No. 2 seed Dayton Thurgood Marshall 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Trent Arena.
Massie’s chances of making it to Tuesday appeared slim to none as Ross jumped out to a 13-2 lead in the first three minutes of the game, helped in part by Cooper Shields’ three bombs.
“In the first quarter, we didn’t follow anything we had talked about,” CM head coach Todd Cook said. “Our focus was Shields and he hits three threes, and we’re like, ‘What have we been practicing all week?’”
Shields had 11 in the opening period. He finished the game with 20 to lead all scorers.
Massie scratched and clawed its way back, and took its first lead of the night, 32-30, on Zach Chowning’s three just before the third-quarter horn.
“In the second quarter, you could see what we practiced on defensively,” Cook said. “We held them to one basket and four free throws.”
In the fourth quarter, there were seven ties and seven lead changes.
The Rams (15-8) led 47-43 with 1:11 left in the game and were virtually certain to push its advantage to six on a steal and breakaway bucket. But Ross’ dunk attempt bounced to Massie.
“That gave us an opportunity there,” Cook said. “If it would’ve been a layup right there, I don’t know if we could’ve recovered.”
Massie made good on that opportunity. Daulton Wolfe headed to the line to shoot the double-bonus. He made the first and missed the second. Griffin Laake secured the rebound and found Chowning for another three to tie the game at 47-47 with a little less than a minute to go in the game.
“To get 15 points on five threes, that’s a phenomenal job,” Cook said about Chowning who was Massie’s leading scorer. “We knew it was going to be tough for Zach. Every time he came off any screens, they were there. They knew exactly what he was going to be doing.
“Zach has done a great job for us on the outside. It opens the middle up a little bit, too.”
A Shields floater with 43 seconds left put the Rams up 49-47. Thomas Myers, who returned to the lineup after being out since Feb. 2, cleaned up a Lamb miss to knot the game at 49-49.
Ross air-balled a wide-open, NBA-range three-point attempt with 2.2 seconds left. Ross intercepted Massie’s full-court inbound pass near the opposite end line with one-tenth of a second on the clock.
After the teams traded buckets to open the extra period, Drew Settlemyre buried a long deuce and then fed Laake on an inbound play for two more and a 55-51 Falcon lead.
Shields hit a pair of free throws to make it 55-53 with 50 seconds left in the contest.
Two Brendan Lamb drives to the hoop and a pair of Laake free throws later, Massie was headed to the next round.
“We didn’t do a very good job tonight,” Cook said. “But to come out with a win, I’m very pleased with that. We’ve got to do a better job in the second round.”
February 22 2019
Division II Sectional
@Trent Arena, Fairmont
Clinton-Massie 61 Ross 54
(54) ROSS (fg-ft-tp) Zimmerman 0-6-6, Yeager 0-1-1, Shields 5-7-20, Lange 3-0-6, Geers 1-0-2, Stenger 0-0-0, Hodge 0-0-0, Gronas 4-7-16, Stepaniak 1-1-3. Total 14-22-54. 3-point goals: 4 (Shields 3, Gronas). FTM-FTA 22-28, 79 percent.
(61) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-ft-tp) Wolfe 2-1-6, Lamb 5-3-13, Chowning 5-0-15, Laake 4-3-12, Settlemyre 2-0-4, Faucett 0-0-0, Myers 3-3-9, Baker 1-0-2. Total 22-10-61. 3-point goals: 7 (Chowning 5, Laake, Wolfe). FTM-FTA 10-14, 71 percent.
Shawn Robinson covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @twinzdad01.