Basketball: Rams edge Redwoods in OT

 

Derrick Fox hit a shot from 15 feet with 0.5 seconds left in overtime to give the Gavilan College men’s basketball team a 70-68 win Thursday over visiting College of the Redwoods.

“It felt good,” Fox said. “We needed that win. I wasn’t thinking about anything. I just caught the ball and shot it. We were unselfish, and we were patient on offense and shared the ball.”

The play was set up during a timeout with 14 seconds left after Redwoods tied the game.

“We wanted to go to a play called ‘Shooter’ – a baseline entry to the post play,” said Gavilan coach Tito Addison. “Luckily, they doubled the ball out of nowhere and we found the open player.”

Gavilan (3-7) appeared to have the game won in regulation, but Dylan Ingersoll drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer for Redwoods (3-9) to send the game into overtime.

Point guard Joel Sales, who led the Rams in scoring with 15 points, had several big plays down the stretch.

“We really wanted to get the win in regulation, but we’ll take a win any way we can,” Sales said. “It was all about adjusting to their defense. We saw little openings and made big shots.”

With a minute left in regulation, Sales drove to the basket to help the Rams regain the lead at 58-57. Sales had a steal on the following play and dished the ball to Dolapo Opere, who was fouled and made both of his free throws.

After the Corsairs scored with 13.2 seconds left, Sales was intentionally fouled and made both shots. Redwoods got off a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 62-62.

The Rams, who led by as many as eight points in the second half, weren’t able to get any momentum to find breathing room.

Gavilan received a spark from several players off the bench. In the second half, Andrew Belonia had a steal and was intentionally fouled. He made one of the free throws, and Jordan Koyama had a basket to give the Rams a 54-46 edge with 5:20 left.

The Corsairs, who led briefly for a couple minutes at the start of the game, overcame deficits in the first half to tie the game. A monster alley-oop jam by David Everage tied the game at 21-21 with six minutes left in the first.

Redwoods went on a 9-2 run to end the first to tie the game at 31-31 at the half. Gavilan jumped out to a 10-4 lead to start the game after 3 pointers by Stanley Morgan, who had 14 points, and Matt Johnson, who had six.

The Redwoods starters had more than a two-inch average height advantage, but the Rams, who had 17 players in uniform, had depth. At one point in the first half, the Corsairs held a 9-2 foul advantage. And players continued to rack up fouls in the second half. Gavilan went 20 for 34 from the charity stripe, and Redwoods was 19 for 30.

“It was a pretty physical game,” Addison said. “Both teams were trying to go inside. I thought both teams did a great job of setting the pace inside. The referees let them play for a little bit, but they explained to me they didn’t want to let it get out of control. It came down to who could shoot the most free throws.”

The Rams had 10 different players get on the scoreboard.

“We have been in every game except for two,” Addison said. “We started off really hot to the season. But then we couldn’t shoot. We were playing good, but we just couldn’t find the basket. If we score 65 or 70, we should win a lot of games.”

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