With six seconds left to play in the ball game, Casey Pratt, a junior point guard, realized the set play was breaking down quickly in front of him. He took two dribbles inside the three-point line and knocked down a long jumper with 4.3 seconds left to seal a 64-62 Goshen College victory.
“It was really set up to go to Mathew Martin in the post but my guy just fell down and I didn’t want to go too early because we wanted the last shot, so I waited a little bit and I was like, ‘I’m so wide open; I just got to shoot it,’” Pratt said following the victory.
The Maple Leafs (14-5, 4-3) trailed 22nd-ranked Huntington (12-7, 4-3) by seven going into the locker room at the break, only knocking down 24% of their shots in the first half.
“We got the looks we wanted in the first half and just could not buy a basket,” said Gary Chupp, the team’s head coach.
But the Leafs came out in the second half and converted an astonishing 69% from the field led by sophomore shooting guard Kody Chandler with 15 points in the second half.
“Once [Chandler] got it going in the second half, [Martin] followed his lead and we started making shots,” Chupp continued.
With 3:40 remaining in regulation, the Leafs trailed by two when Chandler stepped into a three on the left-wing to take a 58-57 lead and turn the momentum for the Maple Leafs.
“Kody’s one of those guys that wasn’t shooting the ball well in the first half, but you know he’s going to keep shooting and that’s why he’s still on the floor. And he got that in transition and he pulled it. It was a big shot,” Coach Chupp said enthusiastically.
Nine players entered the scoring column in the box score for the Maple Leafs in Tuesday night’s victory, including a game high 16 points by Mathew Martin. Pratt ended his night five points, seven assists and one game winning shot.
The Leafs are back in action Saturday with another tough road contest at Spring Arbor (12-7, 3-4) with a 3:00 p.m. tip.
By Benjamin Kelly