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Luke Teters’ buzzer-beater lifts Wildcats past Rebels

Photo courtesy of Patricia Miller Waterford’s Jacob Huffman (24) goes up for a basket as South Gallia’s Jaxin Mabe (10) contests during a high school boys basketball game Friday at the Harry Cooper Annex. Waterford won, 49-47, in overtime.

WATERFORD –Revenge is a dish best served cold, and for Luke Teters and Waterford, they had to wait a year to exact some revenge on South Gallia following a Rebel game-winner last season. A Teters buzzer-beater gave the Wildcats a 49-47 win in overtime on Friday. Coming out of a timeout with 14.3 seconds left in the overtime period. Waterford drew up an inbound play from the right side of the 3-point line for Teters, and he stepped inside the arc after getting the ball back to drain a jumper over the outstretched hand of a South Gallia defender. The home crowd left happy, as Teters described the feeling just moments after it happened.

“There were only three seconds left, and I just had faith in my hands that I was going to hit that shot,” Teters said. “I was missing everything, and I knew something had to go in eventually. I’m just in the moment right now, and it was a great game by the team.”

Speaking of the rest of the team, head coach Tom Simms’ ‘Cats had a hole to get themselves out of, late in the fourth. Down seven points with 2:44 remaining, Holden Dailey and the offense responded after a trio of Rebel turnovers helped them claw back in.

Dailey totaled 16 points and 20 rebounds in the win, as he skied for boards all night. Another key turning point in the contest was when Jude Huffman put his body on the line to ensure overtime.

With less than 10 seconds left in regulation, SGHS’s press got the better of Waterford, when Jaxin Mabe (15 points, 11 rebounds) poked the ball lose and threw an outlet pass out to Tristian Saber. Huffman was the only defender in front of Saber and he quickly got in position to take a charge with 3.6 seconds left. He was injured on the play and did not return, but Simms praised his effort in this tight contest.

“How big was that? I kind of expressed myself to a couple of their calls, and I kept my mouth shut on that one,” Simms said of the close nature of the charge. “That was a huge, huge call. You can’t teach that in practice. That’s the concept of thinking and knowing the game. That’s what we’re starting to do. We’re starting to get that chemistry.”

Cold shooting from both sides in the first half made for a close, but low-scoring affair. It wasn’t until the second half when both sides warmed up to hit big shots down the stretch. Jarrett Armstrong and Jacob Huffman responded in a major way, as Armstrong scored seven of his 13 in the fourth and overtime. Huffman also tallied 13, and he scored nine in the fourth and overtime. Down 41-34 with 57 seconds left, Armstrong buried a triple off a Dailey assist to cut the deficit to four. Then, the Waterford defense forced a trap and turnover which allowed Dailey to hit a layup with 48.1 remaining. Overtime was forced after Armstrong hit two critical free throws with 27.7 seconds left to tie the game. It was the kind of rally Simms’ bunch was looking for, as they improve to 5-5 on the season. After he had time to collect his thoughts in the locker room, Teters (whose four points in the game came via a basket in the fourth and the eventual game-winner) was happy to look back on the biggest moment of his high school career.

“I’ve been working my whole life for that shot right there,” he said. “It finally paid off after four years and being a senior. It’s good to hit it, because they hit it on us last year. A buzzer-beater is a buzzer-beater, and that adrenaline just gets you going. It’s a bite back. They bit us the first time at their place, and it was the same close game as it was here. But we hit this buzzer-beater and clutched it up.”

Waterford has a quick turnaround after this dramatic showing, as it welcomes Caldwell to the Harry Cooper Annex tonight in an attempt to get above the .500-mark.

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com

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