FOURTH QUARTER HEROICS … Joey Burt elevates for a jumper for the Eagles Friday night. Burt tallied a game-high 20 points, including reeling off six straight points in the final frame to carry North Central to a 57-54 win. (PHOTO BY RICH HARDING, STAFF)
By: Daniel Cooley
PIONEER – Two free throws from Carter Kiess gave Edon a 51-50 lead with 2:28 left in the game.
But Joey Burt then took over, scoring North Central’s next six points, as North Central topped Edon 57-54.
First, he scored on a layup off a steal to put North Central up 52-51.
Next, he knocked down a short jumper to give the Eagles a three-point lead at 54-51.
After Edon’s Peyton Trausch made one of two free throws, Burt sank both of his free throws to give North Central a four-point lead at 56-52.
“When we fell behind, my mindset was just to be patient, spread the ball out and then (when an opportunity came), take it to the rock,” Burt said.
Max Radabaugh’s lay in then brought Edon back to within two at 56-54, with :18 seconds left.
Joey’s brother Quin Burt was then fouled with 16.8 seconds left and he promptly missed the first of two shots.
“I wasn’t nervous about it,” Joey Burt said. “He’s my older brother and I had faith in him. I knew he wouldn’t let me down.”
Quin Burt made the second one to put North Central up 57-54. Edon had a chance to tie the game, but their buzzer beating three-point attempt fell short of the mark.
“It feels good to get this win,” said Joey Burt. who finished with a game high 20 points. “It’s nice to know we can still have a chance to finish up near the top of the league.”
The win moves North Central to 3-3 in the BBC (Buckeye Border Conference) and 8-10 overall.
Snakebitten Edon, which falls to 2-4 in the BBC and 5-14 overall, has lost three of its conference games by a total of four points.
Edon jumped out of the gate quickly. After North Central scored first off a Joey Burt bucket, Edon tallied eight straight points to take an 8-2 lead.
Radabaugh hit two free throws, Cohen Hulbert hit two straight buckets and Kiess scored a layup off a steal.
After a North Central timeout, the Eagles then went to a three quarter zone press that quickly turned things in North Central’s favor.
The Eagles answered with a 15-2 run to take a 17-10 lead. Gage Kidston made two straight three-point plays, on a bucket and a free throw each time and Ethan Beard’s steal and layup tied the game at 10-10.
Burt sank a three-pointer and buckets by Beard and Quin Burt put the Eagles up by seven.
Kiess then hit a bucket to cut North Central’s lead to 17-12 after one period.
After each team traded baskets to start the second stanza, North Central scored six straight points to take its biggest lead, at 25-14.
Burt tallied a basket and two free throws and Beard then added two free throws. Edon managed to cut North Central’s lead to eight points three different times in the quarter, but Ben Pettit’s three pointer just before the halftime buzzer put North Central up at halftime 36-25.
Edon then changed things up in the third quarter by going to a full court press. While North Central did not have problems getting the ball across half court, the Eagles were no longer able to work the ball inside and went cold from the outside.
North Central also committed six turnovers in their half-court offense, allowing Edon to get back into the ball game.
Edon outscored North Central 17-5 in the third quarter, to take a 42-41 lead after three quarters.
North Central had led, 39-28 in the third quarter, but Edon then went on a 14-2 run to take the lead.
Kiess hit two straight baskets and then nailed a three-pointer to cut North Central’s lead to 39-35.
After Burt scored to give North Central a six-point lead, Edon then scored the final seven points of the quarter to take the one point lead at 42-41.
Edon made five of six free throws to cut North Central’s lead to one and Kiess then hit a bucket just before the buzzer to put Edon in front.
“I had a bunch of turnovers in the third quarter,” Burt said. “My teammates were open, but I wasn’t getting the ball to them.”
“So, as we started the fourth quarter, I told myself, just settle down and get the ball to my teammates.”
After Hulbert’s basket put Edon up, 49-46, baskets by Kidston and then by Cohen Meyers put North Central up by one 50-49, with 2:36 left in the game.
Kiess then hit the two free throws that gave Edon its final lead, at 51-50. Then it was time for Burt’s heroics.
“Joey’s a good ball player and does a lot of good things for us,” said North Central coach Chris Fidler. “He returns next year, so that will help us.”
“Give Edon credit. Their pressure in the third quarter got them back in the game. We then made some offensive adjustments at the end of the third quarter.”
“This was a good win for us and gives us a chance to finish in third place in the conference.”
North Central travels to Montpelier (3-3 in the conference) on February 10, while Edon hosts Fayette on February 10.
For Edon, Kiess led the Bombers with 16 points, while Trausch tallied 15 markers and Hulbert added 10 points.
For North Central, along with Burt’s 20 points, Meyers added nine points.
EDON (54) – Radabaugh 8; Kiess 16; Hulbert 10; Brigle 4; Trausch 15; Gallehue 1; Totals: 16-3-13 – 54
NORTH CENTRAL (57) – J. Burt 20; Q. Burt 3; Douglass 2; Meyers 9; Kidston 8; Smeltzer 6; Beard 6; Hicks 0; Pettit 3; Totals: 20-2-11 – 57
Three pointers: Edon, Trausch 2, Kiess; North Central, J. Burt, Pettit; Rebounds: Edon 35 (Hulbert 9), North Central 26 (J. Burt 6); Turnovers: Edon 25, North Central 14
EDON 12 13 17 12 – 54
N. CENTRAL 17 19 5 16 – 57
JUNIOR VARSITY: North Central, 40-14
Dan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org