TRIPLE OVERTIME BATTLE … Blake Altaffer puts up a baseline jumper in the second half against Fayette. Altaffer finished the game with 16 points for the Locos. (PHOTO BY RICH HARDING , STAFF)
By: Nate Calvin
MONTPELIER, OHIO-The Locos put three players in double figures and were able to overcome Fayette’s three-point shooting to knock off the Eagles in three overtimes 60-57.
Fayette, playing their first game since December 12th, came out firing from long range as Elijah Lerma hit two triples and Eli Eberly added one to help Fayette jump out to an 11-2 lead with 4:47 left in the first quarter.
Montpelier though was able to close the deficit by holding Fayette scoreless the rest of the quarter to make it 11-7 after one quarter.
An even second quarter led to a 25-21 Fayette advantage at halftime before the Locos started to get on track offensively in the third.
The third quarter saw the Locos find their shooting touch by going 6/9 from the floor and with seven points from Tylor Yahraus Montpelier had cut the Fayette lead to one at 37-36.
Fayette was able to extend their lead to open the fourth and after a triple by Eberly the Eagles were in front 46-40 with 3:15 to go.
The Locos would respond as Yahraus had a field goal followed by two buckets from Garrett Walz, the last one a three-pointer, to put Montpelier in front 47-46 with 41.8 remaining.
Down 48-46, Eberly got loose inside in the closing seconds of regulation for a basket to tie the game 48-48 and force the first overtime.
The first overtime started with Lerma hitting a floater in the lane to give Fayette a 50-48 lead, but Blake Altaffer answered back for the Locos with a conventional three-point play to make it 51-50.
Yahraus extended the lead to 53-50 before Fayette’s Tanner Wagner buried a triple to tie the game 53-53.
The Eagles would get the ball right back after an inbound violation by the Locos but a contested shot from the top of the key by Wagner was off the mark, sending the game to double overtime.
The teams exchanged field goals to start the second overtime before Montpelier on their next possession would spread the floor and hold for the final shot with the score tied at 55.
With time running down, Yahraus would go one-on-one and try a jumper from left of the lane but it wouldn’t go thus sending the game to overtime number three.
The third extra session again started with the Eagles grabbing the lead as Lerma would hit a runner off glass to make it 57-55.
The Locos would retake the lead as Altaffer knocked down a three-pointer from the right corner to make the score 58-57 with 48.7 remaining.
Walz then went 1/2 at the foul line, Wagner missed on a lefthand drive and Walz went 1/2 again from the charity stripe to make 60-57.
Following the Walz miss on the second free throw, Fayette pushed the ball up the floor and Lerma got a good look at a potential game tying three-pointer from the corner, but it was off the mark as time expired.
Walz tallied 17 points on the night for Montpelier (4-1, 3-0 in BBC), Altaffer scored 16, and Yahraus had 15, 11 coming after halftime.
Fayette (2-1, 1-1) ended the night 9-31 (29%) from two-point range and 11-28 (39%) from beyond the arc. The Locos were 22/47 (46%) overall from the field and 12/19 from the free throw line.
Lerma led the Eagles in scoring with 17 points, Phillip Whiteside had 12, Wagner added 11, and Eberly chipped in with 10.
Fayette 11 14 12 11 5 2 2 57
Montpelier 7 14 15 12 5 2 5 60
Nate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org