MADISON TOWNSHIP — Thirty-two minutes just weren’t enough for Ontario and Norwalk.
The Warriors and Truckers needed three additional overtime periods to finally settle matters Wednesday at Madison Middle School.
Ashland University recruit Brandon Haraway scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and OT and the top-seeded Truckers escaped with a 52-48 win over No. 8 Ontario.
“We told our kids there are two things you can control, the energy you bring and the effort you play with,” Ontario coach Joe Balogh said. “You don’t always get the result you want, but I can’t fault our kids. We played with great energy and we played with great effort.
“We put ourselves in position several times to win the game and it just didn’t happen. It’s tournament basketball in Ohio and that’s why it’s so exciting.”
It didn’t look like overtime would be necessary for much of the evening. Norwalk (22-3) led 24-12 at the half and 26-15 midway through the third before the Warriors came to life. Ontario closed the quarter on a 6-0 run and trailed 26-21 going to the fourth.
Norwalk led 30-23 with less than five minutes remaining, but the Warriors (16-9) forced overtime by closing out regulation on a 9-2 run. Shaquan Coburn tied it at 32-32 with 59 seconds to play and that is how it stood going into the first four-minute extra session.
Ontario took a 34-32 lead on Griffin Shaver’s layup with 1:36 to go and, after a Coburn steal with 8.4 seconds left, it looked like the Warriors would spring the upset. But Ontario misfired on the front end of a one-and-one and Haraway swiped the rebounds and went coast to coast for the game-tying layup with a second left.
Norwalk grabbed a 36-34 lead in the second overtime, but a traditional three-point play by Coburn gave Ontario a 37-36 lead with 2:32 to go. Norwalk’s Garrett Obringer responded with a clutch corner 3-pointer with 2:03 to go to give Norwalk a 39-37 lead. It was Obringer’s only field goal of the evening.
Coburn would tie it at 39-39 with a pair of free throws with 1:50 remaining and that’s how things would stand going into the third overtime.
Norwalk scored the first four points of triple OT as Obringer and Garrett Chapin each connected on a pair of free throws. A 3-pointer by Ontario’s Jayden Price made it 43-42, but Haraway split a pair of free throws and scored on a layup to make it 46-42 with 1:16 to play.
The Truckers pushed it to 48-42 on two more Chapin freebies, but Coburn kept the Warriors close with his second three of the evening to make it 48-45. Haraway knocked down two free throws to make it 50-45 but Coburn was fouled attempting a 3-pointer with 21.3 seconds to play and hit all three free throws to make it 50-48.
Haraway finally iced it with two free throws with 14 seconds to go.
We just hung in there,” Norwalk coach Steve Gray said. “Chapin hit some free throws, Obringer hit some free throws and when we had to, we got stops. That’s sort of been our calling card all year.”
Haraway led the Truckers with 20 points but converted on just 14 of 25 free throws.
“When you have a pony, you ride him,” Gray said. “He’s carried us for most of the year and I told him toward the end of regulation to hang in there and trust his teammates.”
Coburn scored a game-high 26 for the Warriors. Jayden Jacobs added nine.
“We kept fighting and fighting and found a way and had a shot to win it,” Balogh said. “We just didn’t get the result we wanted to get.”