The Edison boys basketball team jumped out to a double-digit lead, only to see visiting South Central rally back to force overtime. But in the extra four minutes, the Chargers (13-6) recovered to win their fourth straight in taking a 72-69 win Saturday night in Milan.
“We played a good game tonight,” Edison coach Kyle Hammond said. “James (Hill) and Bryce (Roberts) are just a couple of special players that made the plays you would expect out of your team leaders.
“After this season is over, I am really going to miss this whole senior class,” he added. “They continue to give everything they have for us.”
After a back-and-forth first quarter featured six lead changes and three ties, the Trojans (13-6) went cold from the field.
Edison’s James Hill and his teammates picked their defensive pressure and challenged the South Central shooters after allowing them to knock down four from beyond the three-point arc for a 24-21 lead after the first quarter.
Both Hill and Roberts anchored the way offensively, and in the second eight minutes, the Chargers had raced out to a 20-6 scoring advantage to take a 41-30 halftime lead.
After allowing the Trojans to cut the lead to six points early in the third quarter, the Chargers built up an 18-point lead thanks to Hill and Gavin Schaeffer combining for nine points, and the defense forcing South Central into turnovers.
But that’s when one of the top guards in the area answered the bell. South Central’s Simon Blair put his team on his back when he scored seven of his game-high 23 points to close the gap to eight points, 56-48, as the two teams entered the fourth quarter.
Blair followed his big third quarter up with an even better fourth quarter, as he scored nine more points. Edison adjusted its defense to reduce Blair’s effectiveness, but he was able to take advantage of the holes the double teams left him to dish off Ben Lamoreaux and Alex Holland — who both scored five as the Trojans briefly took the lead before going to overtime tied at 67.
“South Central is a good team and with Brett Seidel, they are well-coached,” Hammond said. “We knew that they were going to make a run and try to get back in the game. Blair is a great player and he really gave us a lot of trouble.”
Edison seized control in the overtime to claim the win after Daniel Lambert sank a pair of free throws late in the extra period to put the Chargers up three.
Blair — who also had six assists and four rebounds — attempted a game-tying 3-pointer that rimmed out with six seconds remaining, and time ran out on the Trojans after an Edison rebound.
“Kyle is a very good coach and does an excellent job of making sure his team is in a good position to win,” Seidel said. “With that said, the second quarter was the difference tonight.
“Edison had a lot to do with it, but when you are outscored 20-6 in a quarter, there isn’t a whole lot of good things that are going to come out of it,” he added. “Simon is a special player and did a good job of leading us in the second half to get us back in it.”
Hill finished the game with 20 points and 12 rebounds, with Roberts adding 19 points and eight rebounds. Gavin Scaeffer chipped in with 14 points and six rebounds. The Chargers return to SBC, Bay action on Friday when they travel to Willard.
Also for the Trojans, Ben Lamoreaux had 14 points and Isaiah Seidel scored 11, while Holland added nine points, seven rebounds and four assists.
South Central has its game of the year on Friday, as it visits Western Reserve (12-5, 10-2) with a chance to clinch the Firelands Conference title outright. The Roughriders need a win over the Trojans (11-1 FC) to force a potential co-title.