Jackets stop Edgewood in OT

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Mineola had allowed just 41 points per game in district play before Friday’s Edgewood game, when they gave up 66 in regulation before beating the Bulldogs 79–71 in overtime.

“They scored way too many, that’s the bottom line,” said Coach Ryan Steadman.

Mineola opened the game solidly, darting to a 24–10 lead after just seven minutes, committing six fouls in that short time.

The Yellowjackets were led by junior point guard Jonah Fischer, whose stellar vision had him hitting open perimeter shooters and cutters alike with sound passes. He showed leadership with hustle on the defensive end and was first off the bench to high-five teammates heading off the floor for a timeout.

Inability to secure defensive rebounds plagued the Yellowjackets in the second quarter and they sent the Bulldogs to the line early and often, allowing Edgewood to remain in contact.

Mineola took a 41-32 lead to the locker room, and emerged with better defensive discipline and footwork, which they demonstrated by forcing Edgewood to call timeout in the backcourt on the opening play of the half.

The Yellowjackets struggled to stop the Bulldogs in the half court, and their edge would be sheared to just 5 points after three quarters, 56-51.

About three minutes into the fourth, Edgewood hit a three to pull within one at 59–58. With 4:18 remaining, Mineola lost the lead for the first time.

The teams traded the lead for the next several minutes, until slightly more than 60 seconds in regulation whenthe bucket seemed to seal for the Bulldogs, putting up several errant shots in a row. Mineola finally secured a rebound, a breakaway T.J. Moreland was fouled, and his free throw gave the Yellowjackets a two-point lead.

A Bulldog drive to the bucket yielded the first tie of the game at 66 apiece with 44 seconds in regulation.

Mineola would have the last shot.

With 12 seconds remaining, Fischer initiated a swing play, resulting in a Moreland-attempted three. Dawson Pendergrass tipped two rebounds, unable to put them in the basket, and the game went to overtime.

Mineola dominated the extra period, outscoring Edgewood 13–5. Fischer and Kelby Bruner hit threes. Moreland and Wylie Franks forced a Bulldog timeout with a tenacious trap on defense. The team effort turned what was a tight game back into what the first quarter suggested the game could have been – a Yellowjacket runaway win, 79–71 over the Bulldogs.

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