Reaves’ big three-point play lifts Tornadoes over Redmen

FOSTORIA — Columbian’s Carson Goble stepped to the free throw line to shoot 1-and-1 with 4 seconds left in on the clock in a game deadlocked at 64-64.

Goble missed his free throw, but the ball bounced out to LJ Reaves, who hurled the ball at the bucket and drew a foul. The ball went in, Reaves made the free throw, and that was the difference in the game.

Fostoria High School’s fourth quarter rally fell short as the Redmen dropped a 67-64 decision to Columbian in non-league play Tuesday.

“(Fostoria) did a good job down the stretch of turning us over a little bit,” Columbian coach Travis Kinn said. “I thought we were a little loose on the defensive glass, they got a lot of second chance opportunities. They got in the bonus early, converted their free throws and that kind of put us at a disadvantage.

“But our guys continued to battle. We just fought until the end. Guys stayed very positive, very calm in the huddle, we didn’t panic.”

The Redmen made up and eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter, pulling to within 64-63 with 1:18 left on back-to-back buckets from Avondre Reed and Dom Settles, then tying the score with a free throw from EJ Williams.

Settles had the opportunity to put the Redmen in the lead for the first time since the second quarter, stepping to the free throw line with 9 seconds left on the clock, but neither free throw attempt fell for him.

“That’s a tough situation to come through,” Fostoria coach Thom Loomis said. “You want to make one, but we certainly had our chances after that possession. We got the clock stopped, they were at the line, they made one and then they missed and get a long rebound, a bad bounce that way.

“Like I told the kids afterward, we win as a team we lose as a team. We’re not going to point fingers because there’s 32 other times during the course of that game that we didn’t do something right.”

Fostoria grabbed a quick lead with a 7-0 run to open the game with field goals from Reed and Ke’Shawn Carter-Stokes, and a 3-pointer by Jonathan Banks. After a timeout by Kinn the Tornadoes bounced back and tied the score 13-13 at the end of the first.

The Redmen trailed by as much as 11 points (38-27) early in the third but gained a little ground and were behind 47-39 at the end of the quarter.

“There’s no quit in our kids, never is,” Loomis said. “With the smaller number of players that we have right now it’s a lot harder for us to play that way long stretches of the game. We had to expend a lot of energy to come back when we were down eight. I think at a certain point a couple of fouls at the end for us were just tired fouls because we were gassed and couldn’t move our feet to stay in front.”

Reed led the Redmen with 16 points while Settles had 14, Williams and Jonathan Banks scored 11 apiece and Carter-Stokes added 10. Banks and Mauricio each pulled down six rebounds for the Redmen while Mauricio had four steals.

Reaves led all players with 19 points while Bryce Burns added 16 and Logan Beaston registered 12. Cole Zimmerman led the Tornadoes with five rebounds.