Times Sports Editor
In a low-scoring, grind-it-out game against visiting Columbus East, every possession became a valuable commodity for both teams in Saturday night's game at Northview High School.
Neither team was able to gain a secure foothold in a game that came down to the final play.
The Olympians' Duwyce Wilson, an Indiana University football recruit, went baseline and was able to score over the top of Northview's Jonathan Bradshaw moments before the buzzer as Columbus East escaped with a 45-43 victory.
"Number four (Wilson) is just a great athlete and he did the only thing he could do," Northview coach Ernie Maesch said. "We tried to foul and he got free and took it the basket. Jonathan (Bradshaw) tried for the charge, but your not going to get that call."
The Olympians led 32-31 heading into the fourth quarter as Austin Whitted scored at the buzzer on a rebound.
The fourth quarter opened with Austin Akers knocking home a 3-pointer for a Northview lead before Whitted answered back with a tying hoop. The Knights' Trent Lancaster fired right back with a long-range bomb and a 3-point Northview lead at 37-34.
Columbus East senior, Keith Taylor, who came in averaging just two points per contest, played a huge role down the stretch for the Olympians, who were missing senior Reggie Ringo, who averages 15 ppg.
Taylor, who was assigned to defend Akers, came through on the offensive end, hitting a jumper and then following a Northview miss, roared down the court for a transition lay-in and a 38-37 Olympian lead.
Akers, who did plenty of damage with his passes, sank a 3-pointer with 1:15 left in the game for a 40-38 Northview lead, but Taylor wasn't to be outdone on the offensive end.
The diminutive senior, who stands just 5'8 and weighs in at 135-pounds, came right back down the court to knock home a pull-up 3-pointer to put the Olympians ahead by a point.
When Akers was blocked on a drive on the following possession, Wilson drove to the hoop, scored and was fouled.
Leading 43-40 with 35 seconds remaining, Wilson had an opportunity to create a two-possession game with his free throw.
Wilson's charity attempt nearly wedged between the rim and backboard as Northview rebounded. This time it was the Knights' Clint Reynolds, who came up big.
The senior got free and sank a game-tying 3-pointer with 25 seconds left in the game.
Columbus East brought the ball into the frontcourt and the Knights fouled with just under six seconds to go.
With several fouls left to give, the Knights tried to foul again to run out the clock, but Wilson got free and drove to the baseline and went in for the contested lay-in just before the final horn.
"The kids played extremely hard and played with heart," Maesch said. "They made some big shots when they had to and we made some ourselves. Our kids are developing composure. We're going to have close games, it seems like all of them are."
The Northview JV team dropped a 47-18 decision to the Olympians with Damon Hyatt topping the scoring with five points followed by four from Taylor Pinnick and three apiece from Jordan VanHorn and Nathan Smith.
The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Knights as they host Terre Haute South on Friday night at 6 p.m.
Columbus East (45)
McDonald 1-4 0-0 3, Wilson 3-7 0-1 6, Crase 4-15 0-0 9, Whitted 7-12 1-1 16, King 0-2 0-0 0, Taylor 4-7 0-0 9, Kelley 1-3 0-0 2, Renshaw 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-50 1-2 45.
Akers 7-17 1-4 19, Lancaster 2-6 1-2 7, Reynolds 2-7 0-0 5, Bradshaw 3-3 0-0 6, Musgrave 3-5 0-0 6, Wilson 0-0 0-0 0, Mershon 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 17-39 2-6 43.
3-point fieldgoals -- CE 4-16 (Whitted 1-5, Crase 1-5, Taylor 1-2, Wilson 0-1, McDonald 1-3). Total Rebounds -- CE 26 (Whitted 10), Nv 25 (Akers 8, Bradshaw 5). Total Fouls -- CE 8, Nv 5. Turnovers -- CE 7, Nv 11.