Red Devils get defensive stop on final possession
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY — The Green Bay East boys’ basketball team got a defensive stop with under a second remaining to edge Green Bay West, 49-48, in a Bay Conference game Dec. 13 at West High School.
“It’s a big win for our kids – especially being a rivalry game,” said Rick Rosinski, Green Bay East head coach. “We could have packed it in after we saw a big lead disappear, but we fought hard down the stretch and got the stops we needed to come out on top.”
With 10.9 seconds remaining, the Wildcats inbounded the ball underneath their own hoop.
Jefferson Cooper-Holmes, a 6-foot-5 center, eventually shot an 18-foot jumper which rolled off the cylinder to secure the win for East.
Bill Felix led the Red Devils with 13 points, and Jalen Flowers added 10 points.
West was led by Cooper-Holmes’ 12 points.
East took an early 13-12 lead after Alex Aoki made a triple from the top of the key.
With the physicality of the game evident, fouls started to mount up, sending starters to the bench.
After West’s Kameron Eddins made a clean steal at half-court and went in for an uncontested two points, the Wildcats again pulled to within a point with four minutes to go in the first half.
It was the Red Devils, however, who seized momentum toward halftime, going on an 8-3 spurt to take a 30-24 lead into intermission.
“Cole (Gillespie) and Gabe (Vasquez) gave us some big minutes the final five to six minutes of the first half,” Rosinski added. “Without those guys, we don’t win this game.”
East came out of the locker room and went on a barrage with Ryan Sweeney and Flowers connecting on elbow jumpers to give the visitors their biggest lead of the game at 36-28 with 13:58 left in the contest.
West head coach Jerry Overstreet called a timeout and came out of his 3-2 zone to play a trapping defense in the half-court.
In a five-minute span, East threw the ball away eight times.
The Wildcats heated up with Jackson Spoentgen and Eddins connecting on triples, giving West a 42-40 lead with 8:43 left in the game.
“Our inexperience showed in getting stuck in the corners and not being able to execute,” added Rosinski. “Give them credit. They threw a little wrinkle into the mix and got back into the game.”
A little later on, with the Wildcats holding a precarious 47-45 lead, East’s Aoki came up with a key steal and bucket to again even the contest.
West countered with one of two free throws by Jack Hemery to regain the advantage.
Sweeney’s hard take to the hole with 2:05 left put East up 49-48, which would prove to be the game-winner.
Down the stretch, neither team could find the bottom of the basket.
“These games are why we play basketball,” said Felix. “We all know each other, and we are one up on them to the next game at our place. I know my boys have my back. We got it done on the road.”
Green Bay East: 30, 19—49
Green Bay West: 24, 24—48
Red Devils: Felix 13, Flowers 10, Sweeney 9, Campbell 6, Aoki 5, Vasquez 4, Gillespie 2
Wildcats: Cooper-Holmes 12, Eddins 11, Spoentgen 9, Chandara 5, Steele 3, Meyer 3, Canady 2, Hemery 2, Bates 1