Prep boys basketball: Waterford rallies to top Belpre 60-57

BELPRE – Host Belpre came out flat to start the second half and let Waterford back in the game, and the Wildcats perservered to the end, which saw them clip the Golden Eagles’ wings by a 60-57 score in boys basketball Friday night.

And the outcome did come down to literally the end. After Brennen Ferrell’s two free throws narrowed the gap to 58-57 for Belpre with 45.2 seconds to play, the Golden Eagles had to foul to try and get the ball back. But Mitch Ginther sank two free throws at the 27.6-second mark for a three-point lead, 60-57.

Ferrell’s three-point basket attempt from the right wing for a tie rolled in and out of the hoop with three seconds remaining. And when Waterford’s Tanner Pottmeyer missed a free throw with 1.3 seconds left, Belpre’s Deijon Bedgood grabbed the rebound and threw it the length of the court. The ball hit the backboard pretty much straight on, then ricocheted downward and off the front of the rim, but fell off instead of back through the net as time expired.

“It was our game; we should have won, but they just wanted it more than us down the stretch,” said Belpre head coach Jordan Thornhill, whose team fell to 0-2 on the season and 0-1 in the TVC Hocking Division.

After a close first quarter, which concluded with the ‘Cats ahead by two at 15-13, Belpre used the free-throw line in the second quarter to forge a 37-25 halftime lead, sinking 14 of 18 freebies in the period.

However in the third quarter, the Golden Eagles started flat and never recovered, being outscored in the period 14-6, but still clung to a four-point margin, 43-39, going to the fourth quarter.

Tristan Crawford’s three-point play followed by Wyatt Porter’s basket at 4:41 of the fourth knotted the count at 48, and surging Waterford took the lead for good at 55-52 with 2:43 remaining on Eli Strahler’s three-point play,

Porter led all scorers in the game with 16 points, followed on the Waterford side by Strahler’s 13, while Nick Therriault’s 15 points paced Belpre, Ferrell added 13 and Bedgood netted 12.

The Golden Eagle cagers play again Saturday at home versus Caldwell. The JV game tips off at 4 p.m. with the varsity contest to follow.