Quentin Blaue’s put-back buzzer-beating attempt teased fans in Allen Community College’s home finale on Saturday against Cloud Community College.
With the score tied at 70-70 and with Cloud just having squandered a chance to win it with a turnover with nine seconds left, the Red Devils turned to star sophomore DaRon Mims to deliver a victory.
“We wanted to get the ball into DaRon’s hands and let him make a play,” Allen coach Andy Shaw said. “I thought he got a decent look.”
Mims got a clear look deep in the two-point range, but his shot was just off. The ball caromed off the rim and headed in the direction of Blaue on the baseline. In one leap, the sophomore sharp-shooter caught the ball and put up a mid-range jumper.
The entire crowd held its breath as it watched the ball hit the back-iron, then the front of the rim, the left side, and lingered on the right side.
Allen players were already jumping up and down — anticipating the victory — when the ball dropped off the wrong side of the rim.
“That ball hung on the rim for what felt like an eternity and I felt like it was going in,” Shaw said.
The Red Devils and T-Birds now prepared for overtime.
Overtime was just as tight as regulation with Mims tieing the game at 77-77 on a three with 37 seconds left.
“Overtime was a battle just like the entire 40 minutes were,” Shaw said.
It was a put-back by Cloud that dashed the Red Devil hopes, and with five seconds left, Cloud tipped a shot back in and the Red Devils turned the ball over on the ensuing possession. The T-Birds escaped Iola with a 79-77 overtime victory.
“The game came down to rebounding late,” Shaw said. “We couldn’t get any kind of rebounding on the defensive end… We couldn’t get a defensive stop because we couldn’t end possessions with rebounds.”
Mims led the Red Devils with 18 points, while E.J. Garnes had 16 and Blaue added 15.
The Red Devils now travel to Pratt today, before they prepare for the conference tournament.
“I don’t think anybody is going to be excited to play us,” Shaw said. “It is going to be a crazy tournament. We have proven that we have the ability to beat anybody.”
The Red Devils suffered another lopsided loss on Saturday afternoon when they fell to Cloud, 85-46.
Freshmen Kendra Houston led the Red Devils with 10 points off the bench.
Akia Andrews had nine while Damonica Franklin had eight during the ‘Sophomore Day’ celebration for her and Presley Stephens.
Allen’s weekend started off great with eight innings of one-hit ball by freshman Dela Boyd to beat Hesston College 2-0 in extra innings on the road.
Morgan Wayman had the game-winning RBI in the eighth and Julia Keating added an insurance run a batter later.
Keating was the top hitter for the Red Devils and went 2-for-4 with a double. Breanna Dinkel also doubled.
The weekend took a turn for the worse in the remaining three games though as Allen tried to do battle without ace sophomore Raegan Beckley.
The pitching wasn’t the problem in game two against Hesston though. The Red Devil offense was held to just three hits in a 3-0 loss.
Freshman Courtney Gard allowed three runs in five innings. Sierra Thompson added a scoreless frame.
The offensive struggles continued in Sunday’s game one against Des Moines Area Community College. The Red Devils lost 8-0 at home in five innings.
Wayman had the lone Red Devil hit.
Thompson threw five innings and allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits. The Red Devils had more errors than hits (two to one).
The Red Devils were able to score in game two against DMACC, but it wasn’t enough as they lost 4-3.
Winter Henry, Emma Broxterman and Mallory Roush all had multiple hits for Allen.
Humboldt-graduate Delaney Umholtz had a triple in the loss.