New Oxford wins wild comeback vs. Dallastown
New Oxford erased an eight-point deficit in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to pull out an unlikely 56-54 victory against Dallastown Tuesday night.
The win snaps a brutal losing streak for the Colonials, who less than a week ago looked to be in a comfortable spot for qualifying for the District 3 tournament. Sitting 10th in the Class 5A power rankings on Thursday, the Colonials lost a big lead and fell to Spring Grove Friday. Then they lost a heartbreaking two-point loss to Palmyra Saturday.
All of a sudden, New Oxford's postseason future was in doubt of making the 16-team tournament.
"We were worried, we were really worried," New Oxford coach Sean Bair said.
Bair looked around YAIAA Division I and didn't see a gimme win.
"That's how much we respect our division," he said.
Bair can still add a game to his schedule, and he admitted he thought he might add a game from a team in western Pennsylvania to give his team a shot a the postseason if the losing streak continued. But then came the wild comeback against Dallastown.
"This should vault us," Bair said.
Trailing by eight with less than four minutes to play, New Oxford scored eight consecutive points with Ben Lehman and Trevor Floyd hitting 3-pointers to knot the game 49-49 with a little more than 2:20 left to play. Then Jaren Rex added a runner in the lane to put the Colonials up by two. But Dallastown rallied, and the Wildcats held a two-point edge in the final 20 seconds.
"We knew we couldn't let this one slip away," Lehman said.
John Wessel tied the score with a pair of free throws with 13.8 seconds to play. Then after a loose-ball foul by Dallastown at the other end, Lehman hit a free throw to put New Oxford up 55-54 with 7.2 seconds left. Lehman missed his second free throw, but Jordin Brown pulled down the offensive rebound and headed to the line to score the game's final point.
"I'll be honest, I like blacked out the last two minutes there," Bair joked.
Brown (15 points), Wessel (15) and Brown (14) all figured big in the final minutes. Donovan Catchings led Dallastown with 14 points.
"We just wanted to make sure we stayed as calm as possible and hustle," Brown said about the key to the wild comeback. "We wanted to make sure we took the right shots."