COAL GROVE - Coal Grove's Cory Border made just one basket Saturday night when he banked in a three-pointer to send the game to overtime against the Oak Hill Oaks at Dawson-Bryant High School.
The Hornets won the overtime period for a 58-54 upset against the Oaks to end their 16-game winning streak.
The victory improved the Hornets season record to 12-4 while the Oaks dropped to 16-1.
While the loss came in non-conference play, Oak Hill head coach Norm Persin was quick to respond when asked if his team were to lose a game isn't it better that it come in non-conference play?
The second-winningest coach in Ohio high school basketball history (724-201 78.3-win percentage) answered quickly and without pause, "I don't believe that. I think you should win them all," Persin said. "Really, I feel sorry for fans because of the way they travel, the way they packed the place to watch our kids played tonight. It's not fair to them or our community."
While the Oaks have been playing consistently on the defensive side of the ball, they have struggled offensively. On this night Oak Hill, who has averaged near the 50-percentile mark in shooting proficiency, connected on just 18 of 43 field goal attempts for just under 42 percent. This included a 5 of 19 performance (26.3 percent) from three-point range. Coal Grove shot 24 of 45 from the floor (53 percent) and were 5 of 13 from beyond the arc (33 percent).
The Oaks took a slim 26-25 edge on the boards and turned the ball over 10 times compared to the Hornets nine. Unfortunately, several of those miscues, including one crucial offensive foul called late, played a key role in the loss.
The game was close from start to finish with numerous lead changes. There were five lead changes in the initial quarter in which Oak Hill shot 6 of 10 from the floor while Coal Grove was 7 of 11.
Mitchell Hale opened the scoring with a three-pointer from the wing, but the Hornets answered with back-to-back baskets from Jordan Case and Sam Angelo to go up 4-3. The lead changed hands three times over the next couple minutes until the Hornets hit three straight layups to take a 10-7 advantage.
Hale ended the Oaks' scoring drought with a runner in the lane and then, they took a 9-6 scoring edge over the next three minutes to even the score 15 where the score stood at the end of the first quarter.
The second period was low scoring, as the Oaks made just 3 of 12 shot attempts from the floor and Coal Grove was 3 of 8 with Oak Hill leading 25-21 at the break.
Both teams were 4 of 9 from the field in the third stanza, but the Oaks connected on just 2 of 7 from three-point range while the Hornets were two of three, as the Oaks held a 38-31 advantage heading into the final quarter of play.
During the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, the Hornets outscored the Oaks 7-2 to close within 40-38. Both teams exchanged buckets over the next couple of minutes with the Hornets closing to within 45-43 at the 1:17 mark when Sam Angelo hit a three-pointer off the wing.
Mason Darby split a pair free throws with just over 25 seconds remaining to make it 46-43, but Angelo banked one in with 17.5 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to one, with Coal Grove calling a quick timeout.
Following the pause, Mitchell Hale was fouled with 10.8 seconds left and hit both foul shots to stretch the lead back to three, 48-45.
Then with 8.2 seconds to go Border banked in the three-pointer from 30-feet out, which sent the game to overtime.
The Hornets scored first when Angelo scored on a layup just 22 seconds into the extra stanza. The Oaks turned the ball over, but Mason Darby got a steal and layup to even the score at 50. Jeb Jones scored in the lane with 2:17 left making it 52-50 and Aaron Music got a layup off a steal extending the Hornets' lead to 54-50 with 1:22 to play.
Darby's layup basket close the gap to 54-52 with 18-seconds left and Chase Hammond made two free throws to tie the game at 54-54 with 48.3 seconds to go.
With 34.6 seconds to play, Jaelyn McKenzie made a pair of free throws to put Coal Grove back in front, 56-54.
On the Oaks turned the ball over after an offensive foul, and with eight seconds to play Music two free throws to seal the win.
Both teams had two players score in double figures with Hale leading the Oaks and all scorers with 18 points and Darby added 15. Only three other players reach the scoring column for the Oaks.
The Hornets, on the other hand, had eight different players score as Angelo led the way with 17 points. Music chipped in with 15 points for Coal Grove.
The lack of offense had Persin lamenting after the game.
"They just had more scoring options than we did tonight," he said. "Right now, Mitchell Hale and Mason Darby are our best scorers while everybody else seems to have gone South here lately.
"They (Coal Grove) did everything right tonight. They played harder than we did. They made their shots, and of course, they made the miracle shot that sent the game into overtime. We just have to deal with it and get ready for the big game we got coming up Tuesday night against Wheelersburg."