[Cameron Young | WOUB]

Tremendous threes in triple overtime send Alexander back home

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WAVERLY, Ohio (WOUB) — The Alexander Spartans’ season came to a heartbreaking end on Saturday after a three-overtime loss to the Fairland Dragons by a score of 60-58.

The first half proved to be an extremely slow offensive start for both teams. It was clear that both the Spartans and Dragons had a feel for what the other team was going to do on offense before tip-off of this one. Baskets came at a premium in the first half as the Dragons only led the Spartans 7-5 after one quarter and 17-11 at the half.

Fairland’s persistent offensive rebounding was a major factor in the half as the extra possessions created by hard work on the glass was able to propel them to their six-point lead at the break.

However, Alexander was able to turn it around in the second half on the offensive end of the floor. D’Augustino was able to get it going as his ability to attack the rim in this half allowed the Spartans to bring themselves right back in the game and take a 26-25 lead entering the fourth quarter.

It was a two-way grind for both teams in the fourth quarter of this game as every possession proved to matter down the stretch.

After trading buckets for the entirety of the fourth quarter, Fairland trailed the Spartans 35-38 with less than ten seconds to play. This is when Dragon guard Aiden Porter was able to take the Fairland inbound, pull up on the right wing, and drill a clutch three-pointer to send this game into its first overtime, sending the Fairland crowd into a frenzy.

In overtime, with Dragon forward Steeler Leep already fouled out of the game, Fairland star Aiden Porter was sent to the bench as he fouled out himself.

This meant that young players for the Dragons would have to step up overtime if they wanted to hold off the Spartans and advance. They found this in freshman guard Brody Buchanan, who hit the monster three to tie the game at 43 each to send this game into a second overtime with only six seconds left to play.

Scoring was a more familiar sight to both teams in the second overtime as both teams were successfully able to get to the foul line. Again, with barely any more time on the clock, the Spartans found themselves leading by three points with Fairland having the ball. With time expiring, Dragon sophomore Chase Allen took matters into his own hands as he knocked down a step-back three to send this game into a miraculous third overtime tied at 52-a-piece.

The third overtime just barely belonged to Fairland as they were able to take advantage of the worn-down Alexander defense, getting to the basket and converting late to send home the underdog Spartans.

Despite the loss in such a heartbreaking manner, Alexander coach Jeff Skinner expressed how proud he was of his team to fight through the three-overtime marathon.

“There are mistakes throughout the game that you can look back on, but we’re not going to do that. We are at the end of the season. Even though we didn’t finish with a win, I’m still incredibly pleased with this group.” Skinner said.

Skinner believes that his program is headed in the right direction and expressed how optimistic he was moving forward in his players and his community.

Kyler D’Augustino finished the night with a heroic effort of 31 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists.

After a heartbreaking exit in the District Semifinal round of the state tournament, the Spartans ended their season posting a 13-9 regular season record with an impressive 10-2 record in the TVC Ohio.

The future is bright for Alexander Basketball. Next year, they will return the majority of their key contributors from this year’s team, including Jagger Cain, Dylan Allison, Alex Norris, Zach Barnhouse, and TVC-Ohio Boys Player of the Year Kyler D’Augustino