Nothing but net.
Gavin Cole pumped his fist and let out a yell. Well, he should as he drained the biggest shot of his college basketball career here Saturday night.
With 3.7 seconds remaining in the game, Highland Community College’s Ryan Donahoe hit the first of two free throw attempts. Allen County Community College’s head coach called a timeout.
“I told our guys that he (Donahoe) might intentionally miss the second attempt. We needed to get the rebound,” Hayes said of the final play.
“We had several options set up. Gavin was one of those options.”
Indeed, Donahoe missed the second attempt with his team up by one. Allen County’s Andra Bailey pulled the defensive rebound, dribbled a couple of times then made a perfect pass to Cole.
Cole was set just inside the midcourt line. He took the basketball and was calm.
Cole squared up to the basket and put up a perfect arching jump shot. The ball was in the air when the buzzer sounded.
All the crowd heard was the snap of the bottom of the net as the ball went cleanly through the hoop. Then a roar erupted in the Allen County gym.
Cole was buried under a dog pile by his ACCC teammates. Cole hit four threes on the night as he scored 13 points.
After allowing a double-digit lead to disappear in the final four minutes, the Red Devils claimed a 79-77 win over the visiting Scotties.
“We practice late-game situations but you really don’t know how you respond until you get in one,” Hayes said. “We’ve been on the losing end of these types of situations.”
The victory pushed the Red Devils to 3-1 in Jayhawk Eastern Division play. They are one game over .500, 8-7, as they travel to Kansas City, Kan., Community College tonight.
The KCK Blue Devils are 1-3 in conference play but 13-3 overall.
“We have a tough game on Monday at KCK. They are very good,” Hayes said.
Allen County found itself trailing 9-2 in the first three minutes of Saturday’s game. Hayes said he was not happy with pregame preparation by his players.
And once again, injuries prevented the Red Devils from having a full complement of players for the game. Anthony Clagett, starting point guard, is still out with an ankle injury. Greg Hayes, another guard, has a stress fracture in his shin.
Dennis Rumph started the comeback for the Red Devils with two free throws. Chris Lee got a basket then Rumph sank two more charities.
Down 11-8, Erik Law drilled a three-pointer to tie for ACCC. Law’s field goal at the 11:15 mark put his team in front.
Cole came off the bench to hit back-to-back threes, pushing ACCC’s lead to 19-12. Lee had back-to-back baskets for the Red Devils.
Rumph, who was 10 of 10 from the free-throw line, ended up with 18 points and 10 rebounds. A three-point play by Aaron Jackson with seven seconds left handed ACCC a 40-30 halftime lead.
The Red Devils maintained a double-digit lead most of the second half until the final four minutes.
Rumph was injured with 10:30 left. He came down hard on a rebound. Hayes said Rumph was unable to see out of his left eye after hitting the floor. Rumph’s status for tonight’s game is up in the air. Also Lee injured his hand and may not by available tonight.
The Scotties made several runs at ACCC but the Red Devils held them off. Andra Bailey’s three-point play with 4:21 left had the Devils up 72-61.
Highland outscored Allen County 15-4 over a four-minute span. Allen County was up 76-73 after Jackson’s two free throws with 39 seconds left.
Rashano McRae completed a three-point play to tie the game with 24 seconds left. The Red Devils missed a shot and Donahoe was fouled on the rebound with 3.7 seconds left.
Bailey scored 18 points and had 12 rebounds for ACCC. The Red Devils were 26 of 32 from the free-throw line.
The Scotties cashed in on 21 of 40 charities. Jamar Gulley led Highland with 22 points. Donahoe had 20 and McRae had 17.
Allen County (40-39—79) (FG/3-pt): Jackson 1/1-5-2-10, Rumph 4-10-3-18, Tukes 0/1-2-4-5, Cole 0/4-1-3-13, Law 2/1-2-4-9, Bailey 6-6-4-18, Lee 3-0-4-6. TOTALS: 16/7-26-24-79.
Highland (30-47—77) (FG/3-pt): White 0-0-1-0, Donahoe 3/3-5-3-20, Gulley 6-10-17-4-22, Benard 1-0-2-2, Patterson 0-1-2-1, Davis 2-2-4-6, Shibeshi 1/1-0-2-5, McRae 8-1-4-17, Durley 1-2-5-4. TOTALS: 22/4-21-27-77.
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