For much of the fourth quarter Friday night at the Hatchet House, it looked like the Washington Hatchets might have solved their problem of losing close contests late in the game. But then as Evansville Mater Dei came back to force an overtime, it appeared that problem might continue for the Hatchets.
But then Andy Garland took matters into his own hands. Problem solved. Garland's running 3-pointer from just inside midcourt turned defeat into victory and sent a raucous Hatchet House crowd home happy as Washington downed Mater Dei 48-47 in overtime.
With Washington (3-6) trailing 47-45 and 6.1 second left on the clock in overtime, the Wildcat¹s Jacob Stauber missed a pair of free throws that could have salted away the game for Mater Dei (4-4).
The second miss was rebounded by Eric Bedwell, who handed the ball off to Jake Brashear. With the clock counting down, Brashear spotted Garland open near the Hatchet bench. Brashear hit Garland in stride, and the junior found nothing but net from well behind the arc as time expired.
Garland finished with nine points, but led Washington with five in the extra period. While hitting the biggest shot of his career was special, getting the win was more important.
"It was a great shot, it was really fun, but the most important thing was that we pulled out a close game," said Garland.
"That's all I cared about was, was winning the game, whether it was me or someone else who hit the shot." Washington led 41-35 with under a minute to play but saw the Wildcats score the final six points of regulation to force the overtime. Mater Dei led for much of the overtime as well, but the Hatchets had the ball down only 47-45 with :12 on the clock. Hatchet coach Gene Miiller called his last time out to set up a play, only to see his team commit the last of its 22 turnovers on the ensuing inbounds play, which ended with the ball in Stauber¹s hands and only 6.1 seconds on the clock.
"We were out of timeouts, we used our last timeout on the play before where we threw the ball away," said Miiller. "We just told the kids to push it up the floor and get the first good shot." With Stauber at the line, Garland looked to the Hatchet bench and got some help from assistant coach Brandt Schuckman.
"During that free throw, I looked over at Schuck, and he looked at me and waved me on, and said We've gotta go," said Garland. "I wanted the shot, I screamed for the ball, Brashear found me in a perfect rhythm, and it went in." Cullen Arnold led WHS with 16 points and eight rebounds before fouling out late in regulation. Colton Garland was next with 10 points, followed by Andy Garland¹s nine points and five from Jarrod Purdue. Jake Brashear and Tyler Stoll added four points apiece, with Stoll adding a team high eight assists.
Bedwell didn't score but snared five rebounds and handed out four assists.
Jacob Fleming topped Mater Dei with 12 points, followed by 11 each from Tyler Walsh and Will LaRue.
The Hatchets host Heritage Hills tonight.