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Bears outlast N. Stokes in OT

Jaedon Hill could have secured a victory for his team the easy way, but like a lot of his teammates, he had all sorts of trouble getting his shots to fall on Friday night. So the Mount Airy senior did it the hard way instead.

Hill missed several free throws at the end of regulation and in overtime, but his steal with 3.4 seconds to play in the extra session, followed by an offensive rebound of yet another missed free throw, helped the Granite Bears secure a 48-46 victory in the Northwest 1A Conference opener for both teams.

“He made two huge plays, that steal at the end and then that offensive rebound at the end of the game,” said Mount Airy head coach Bryan Hayes. “Some people might say ‘he could have lost us the game,’ but I say he won us the game.”

The Bears (8-4, 1-0 NW1A) led for most of the night. After scoring the last four points of the first quarter, Mount Airy gradually built a lead that peaked at 15 points early in the third quarter, after Brooks Sizemore hit a 15-foot jumper for a 32-17 lead with 6:52 left in the period. However, the Bears went ice-cold after that and failed to score a single point for eight minutes and 50 seconds. The Vikings (12-3, 0-1) went on a 16-0 run and regained the lead when junior forward Ben Chesnet stole the ball and scored with 6:19 left to play. However, North only enjoyed the lead for 17 seconds before his Mount Airy counterpart Grant Routh dialed long distance from the right baseline and restored a 35-33 Mount Airy led.

A half-minute later, Routh drew a charge against Chesnet, a 6’2” junior who is one of the area’s top players, and made a layup with 5:16 to go that put the Bears up four. When Peyton Harmon got a putback with 3:11 remaining, the home team was up six and it looked like they might have dodged the bullet.

However, the Vikings still had something left in their tank. With 1:52 to go, Chesnet drew a charge on Jordan Newsome, a call that fouled the latter out of the game and left him injured when the two players crashed to the floor. Newsome was down for several minutes before getting to the bench.

“I think what happened is what when he landed on Ben, he got either his shoulder or a knee, and it was reinforced by the floor and it didn’t give any,” said Hayes. “He was in some pretty bad pain when he landed.”

Sizemore stepped up and made a steal which led to two free throws and a 41-35 lead, but Treyson Mabe lived up to his name with a trey in the corner and chopped the lead in half with a minute to go. The Bears tried a delay game to run out the clock at the end of regulation, but Hill missed three of four free throws. This allowed North to have a final possession down just two points, and Chesnet drew a foul underneath and made two free throws with 4.3 seconds to tie the score at 42 and send the game to overtime.

Chesnet had scored 13 of his team’s 25 points in its second-half comeback, and with the Bears down a man in OT, there was plenty of reason to think he might take the game over.

“He’s a tremendous player, and a lot of the stuff they do is through him,” said Hayes. “He’s physical and he fights through the ball. We tried to throw different guys at him; Grant had him some, Brooks, and Jaedon had him some. but he is a tough kid to defend.”

The Bears held the line in overtime. Neither team scored until Routh put back his own shot with 2:11 to go. At the other end, Hill out-leaped two Vikings to rebound a missed 3-pointer and start that possession. When the Bears got another stop, Zeb Stroup dished to Hill for a layup and a 46-42 lead with 1:34 remaining.

Chesnet struck on the next possession, scoring to make it a two-point game. The Bears held the ball for 40 seconds before North fouled Sizemore, who made two free throws with 23 seconds on the clock. Isaac Wood made a jumper for the Vikings eight seconds later, and got the ball back with a chance to tie or win after Stroup missed a pair of free throws with 14.3 seconds to play.

With 3.4 seconds left, Hill stripped a Viking at the top of the key and was immediately fouled. He missed both free throws, but hustled after the second one and got his own rebound. Time expired before North could commit another foul.

“That was a huge play, both the steal and the rebound,” said Hayes. “Jaedon is the type of kid who will be in here tomorrow shooting 120 free throws. He’s the kind of kid who will put in the work to fix that.”

As nerve-wracking as it was, Hayes was glad to escape with the W.

“Any win in this conference is a solid win, no matter if it’s by two in overtime or by 20.” he said. “You take wins in the Northwest Conference any way you can get them.”

Sizemore led the Bears with 15 points. Routh added nine, Hill eight, and Caden Fitzgibbons six. For North Stokes, Chesnet had 24, followed by Isaac Wood and Christian Shemo with seven each.

The Bears will host Surry Central on Wednesday night, while North returns to action next Friday at Bishop McGuinness.

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Mount Airy’s Jordan Newsome goes up for a shot in the lane during his team’s win over North Stokes on Friday night.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/web1_DSC_0557.jpgMount Airy’s Jordan Newsome goes up for a shot in the lane during his team’s win over North Stokes on Friday night. John Cate | The News

Dustin Bowman of North Stokes (right) goes to his left against Mount Airy defender Peyton Harmon early in Friday night’s Northwest 1A Conference opener for both teams.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/web1_10DSC_0539.jpgDustin Bowman of North Stokes (right) goes to his left against Mount Airy defender Peyton Harmon early in Friday night’s Northwest 1A Conference opener for both teams. John Cate | The News

The Bears’ Jordan Newsome (12) kicks the ball out toward the perimeter in traffic during Friday’s game with North Stokes.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/web1_DSC_0544.jpgThe Bears’ Jordan Newsome (12) kicks the ball out toward the perimeter in traffic during Friday’s game with North Stokes.John Cate | The News
MA wins conference opener 48-46

By John Cate

jcate@mtairynews.com

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Source: https://www.mtairynews.com

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