It was a back-and-forth battle throughout, but Gray’s Norwalk boys basketball team prevailed in a 76-69 overtime win over the Trojans at Norwalk High School.
With the win, the Truckers improved to 6-2, and the Trojans fell to 8-2.
“When a team like South Central gets on a roll, I think the basket looks like the ocean to those kids. I just want to give a lot of credit to their kids,” said Gray, who was impressed by the play of junior Simon Blair and sophomore David Lamoreaux.
“He (Brett Seidel) is a heck of a coach. He put them in a position to win,” he added. “I’m just very proud of the way we handled ourselves and competed for 36 minutes.”
In the closing seconds of regulation, Blair’s long ball for South Central fell short and the Trojans weren’t able to gain possession for another attempt. The game went into overtime with the score locked up at 59.
“We were back and forth all the way through the fourth quarter. We had several opportunities down the stretch at the rim; we weren’t able to finish through contact,” said Seidel, who told the Trojans before overtime it was four-minute game. “You’ve come this far (and) competed; go and finish.”
Seidel said his team got what it wanted with several shots at the rim late in the fourth quarter.
“And we just could not finish through the contact,” he said. “In the fourth quarter, they stretched it out with (Will) Gehlhausen and (Garrett) Obringer, who made two clutch shots.
“We went to doubling (Brandon) Haraway because obviously he had an unbelievable game with every shot he took it looked like,” Seidel added. “So we tried to take him out and then Gelhausen and Obringer stepped up and hit a bunch of shots on us.”
Haraway led Norwalk with 30 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists. He was 9-of-13 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line.
Obringer added 16 points and eight rebounds. Garrett Chapin contributed 10 points and nine rebounds. Gehlhausen added 10 points and three assists.
South Central’s Lamoreaux scored 23 points and grabbed four rebounds. He was perfect at the charity stripe with eight foul shots.
Blair added 22 points and six rebounds.
In the overtime, Gehlhausen hit a three-point shot from the corner for a 62-61 advantage.
“The key was getting the lead in overtime,” Gray said. “Then when we got it to a two-possession game, and we made the passes and we shot the layups. We were of 18-of-23 from the free-throw line. All those things contributed.
“We kept our composure. I thought that was important,” added the Norwalk coach, noting his team recently has won several close games late which shows their character. “South Central made us a better team tonight. We had to make adjustments on the fly.”
Seidel was proud of the way the Trojans battled throughout the game, especially when Norwalk went up 23-12 with 5:13 left in the second quarter. Haraway was on a personal 5-0 run. After a South Central timeout, the Trojans answered with their own 5-0 run to close the Truckers’ lead to 23-17.
“I thought our kids responded. I thought Sam (Seidel) came in and hit a couple big three’s for us to close the gap there and keep us close,” the South Central coach said.
In junior varsity action, it was all Norwalk. The game was tied at 5 early in the second quarter until Norwalk went on a 13-0 run to take a 18-5 lead into the locker room. The Truckers won 45-20.
Freshman Jad Oglesby led Norwalk with 10 points, while Daniel Traczek and Drew Shope each added seven points and four rebounds.
Each team plays conference games next — both which will be for first place as the calendar turns to 2019.
Norwalk returns to Sandusky Bay Conference Lake division play Saturday vs. Sandusky (4-2, 3-0). Gray said the Truckers (2-1 SBC) will be challenged guarding the Blue Streaks, keeping them out of the paint and playing a strong transition game.
“They’re just quick as all get out,” he said.
South Central (5-0 Firelands Conference) faces Western Reserve (6-2, 5-0) in Collins on Friday.
“This is a rugged road right now, with Norwalk, Western and St. Paul in row,” Seidel said. “This is when we find out who we are and what we’re made of. We did some good things tonight, but we learned some things, too. We got exposed in a few areas, which we have to clean up.”
Follow Reflector staff writer Cary Ashby on Facebook at “Cary Ashby — reporter & comic book blogger” and on Twitter at @Cary_reporter.
SOUTH CENTRAL (8-2)
Simon Blair 8-2—22; Sam Seidel 2-0—6; Alex Holland 2-0—4; David Lamoreaux 6-8—23; Isaiah Seidel 3-0—8; Evan Legg 2-0—6. TOTALS 22-10—69.
Wil Gehlhuasen 3-2—10; Brandon Haraway 9-8—30; Austin Brown 1-1—4; Ian Minor 1-0—2; Garrett Chapin 3-4—10; Garrett Obringer 6-3—16; Kyler Lacy 2-0—4. TOTALS 25-12—76.
S. Central 9 14 20 16 10 — 69
Norwalk 15 12 16 16 17 — 76
3-point FGs: (SC) Blair 4, Lamoreaux 3, S. Seidel 2, Legg 2; (N) Haraway 4, Gehlhuasen 2, Obringer
JV: Norwalk 45-20