Prep Regional Basketball: Missed free throws cost Boyle County in loss to Somerset
Hagen Tyler is consoled by a Boyle County teammate following the Rebels¿ 51-50 loss to Somerset on Tuesday. Tyler missed a free throw with 5.3 seconds to play. (Clay Jackson / February 27, 2013)
The Rebels had been reliable at the foul line all season, but they paid a dear price for missing most of their free throws Tuesday night.
One free throw near the end of the game stood out, but any one or two shots prior to that might have made a difference in Boyle’s 51-50 loss to Somerset in the boys 12th Region Tournament at Lincoln County.
Boyle came into the regional with an area-best free-throw percentage of .733, and all five of its starters were shooting 60 percent or better. Coach Steve Adams said he thought free throws would be a deciding factor in the Rebels’ first-round game, and they proved him right by making only three of their 11 attempts at the line.
“We got a little tentative and made a couple mistakes, a couple shots didn’t go down, but the last thing I told them at the end of practice yesterday was that free throws would determine the game, and we go 3 of 11,” Adams said. “We’ve been shooting well. Young team, first time they’ve been in this atmosphere, most of them.”
Boyle (15-13) had three senior starters, but only one started last year when the Rebels reached the regional final. But they were facing a Somerset team that was making its first regional appearance since 2008, and they were in position to win or force overtime even after letting an eight-point lead slip away in the second half.
Hagen Tyler was fouled with 5.3 seconds remaining as the Rebels, down by one point, worked for a potential game-winning shot. Tyler, an 87 percent shooter who had missed only nine free throws all season, missed on the front end of the bonus.
Micah Miniard rebounded for Boyle, but Somerset’s Ryan Dishman stripped the ball from him, and the Rebels were unable to foul Dishman before time expired.
“Step up and knock those down and the ballgame’s over. We knock down the other ones, that doesn’t even matter,” Adams said. “It’s usually not one play or one thing, it’s usually a culmination of things, and you’ve got to take advantage of opportunities.”
Somerset (19-9), which plays Mercer County in Friday’s semifinals, took a 49-47 lead on a putback by Dishman with 1:52 remaining, and he hit two free throws at :51 to make it a four-point game.
Boyle’s Josiah Robbins rebounded the ball when Somerset’s Cam Cheuvront missed on the front end of the bonus with 31 seconds left, and Chapman Bean hit a 3-point shot at :21 to pull the Rebels within one, then forced a turnover by Dishman with a deflection in the backcourt, giving Boyle the ball back with 15 seconds left. The Briar Jumpers used the two fouls they had to give, and an unscheduled foul by Matt Gordon sent Tyler to the line.
Adams said he was pleased with the effort the Rebels put forth, even if the results weren’t what they wanted.
“The kids played their rear ends off. You can’t fault their effort. They did everything that we had practiced. Sometimes you don’t make shots, sometimes the ball bounces the wrong way, but you just keep playing and good things will happen,” he said.
Boyle recovered after falling behind 9-0 in the first 4:10 and went in front for the first time late in the first half. Tyler hit two 3-point shots and two free throws during a 10-5 run that gave the Rebels their largest lead at 32-24 midway through the third quarter.
“They hit some 3s and came out really playing well (in the second half), and we had to switch up on defense late in the third quarter, and that changed the momentum back and we forced a couple of turnovers,” Somerset coach Jeff Cothron said.
Adams said teams that change defenses have given the Rebels trouble throughout the season.
“We’ve had difficulty with that. We’re so young, playing out of position, teams that would give us the most trouble is somebody that would switch defenses every third or fourth trip,” he said. “It takes us a while to adjust and make changes, and maybe that was what threw us off our rhythm just enough to miss a couple easy shots.”
Boyle still led by six points early in the fourth period, but the Briar Jumpers pushed their way to the front with a 12-4 run, taking a 47-45 lead on a 3-pointer by Dishman with 3:18 remaining before Bean tied the game with a jump shot 25 seconds later.
Tyler led Boyle with 14 points. Bean, who was 3-for-6 from 3-point range, had 11 points and Brett Jones added 10. Micah Miniard had 10 rebounds for the Rebels, who outrebounded the Briar Jumpers 36-31, and Aram Martin had six assists.
Boyle shot 40 percent from the field, only slightly below its season average, but was just 11 of 30 in the second half. Somerset shot 43 percent from the field and hit eight of its 12 free throws. Dishman went 7-for-8 at the line and led the Jumpers with 15 points, and Ryan Weddle had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Boyle’s players were greeted by applause from parents and friends as they emerged from the locker room after the game, but Adams said they were smarting.
“It’s a great bunch of kids, and they’re hurting,” he said. “And they should be hurting. They poured their guts, they poured everything they’ve got into this, and it’s hard to surrender when you’ve put forth that much effort and time.”