Wildcats top Red Knights

RICHMOND – Edison junior Dylan Jones stepped to the line with 6.4 seconds remaining and gave his seniors’ a 59-57 win over Toronto in their final home game at Edison High School Friday.

“The seniors, we told them coming into this game this was going to be their game no matter what,” said Edison head coach Nate Moses. “For those three seniors it’s really nice to send those three guys off with a win over

“Toronto played a heck of a game. It felt really good for our seniors.”

Wildcats’ senior J.D. Howell stepped to the line for two shots with 6.4 left and Edison trailing 57-56. Howell knocked down the first to tie the game, and Toronto head coach John Leary called a timeout.

Unfortunately the Red Knights were out of timeouts.

“The coach lost the game,” said Leary. “I lost the game, plain and simple. That’s all on me. I have to know how many timeouts I have.

“I swore to God I had one more. If somebody made me testify in court I’d say I had one more. I’ve never done that in 28 years of coaching. Obviously it was marked that I called one, so I guess I did.

“You’ve got to give credit to Edison, they were ready to play. My kids played their hearts out. Their coach lost the game. It’s as simple as that.”

Howell went on to miss his second shot, but Dylan Jones stepped to the line to shoot the technical and gave his team the two-point lead.

“Dylan’s shooting over 80 percent from the line this year,” said Moses. “He’s been our most consistent free throw shooter this year.

“No delay. We put him on the line and he knocked them down like we knew he would.

The game wasn’t quite over yet though.

The Red Knights only had three fouls at the time, but were able to get into the bonus at 3.6 seconds left, sending Howell to the line again, where he missed the front end of the one-and-one.

Toronto rebounded and sent the ball up to Brad Melville who put up a desperation three-pointer from half court that went off the rim, setting off the Wildcats’ celebration.

Things were wild from start to finish as the home team opened a 16-10 lead after one and pushed the lead to 22-12 before the Red Knights stormed back with a big run to end the second quarter. Nate Stewart gave Toronto the halftime lead when he drained a three at the buzzer to make the score 31-30.

“We jumped up 10 in the second quarter, and they went on a 13-0 run to end the first half, and they battled,” said Moses. “That was a game. It went back and forth. Just a good game, a good high school basketball game in which two teams just didn’t want to lose.”

Toronto again beat the horn to end the third quarter when Tyler Owens knocked down a three to make the score 42-40 Red Knights heading into the final eight minutes.

“We showed a lot of heart,” said Leary. “The kids played their heart out. It breaks my heart that I did something stupid like that to put them in that position. They always play their heart out.

“I’m always on them about keeping their composure. They kept their composure for the most part today, and fought through some hard times. To cause that to happen like that is just tragic by me.

“That’s just all you can say. I’ll never forget doing that to these kids. It’s all on me.”

There were five lead changes in the fourth quarter, and neither team led by more than three points during that span.

Senior Alec Jones had a huge game for the Wildcats, scoring 20 points. Half his points came in the fourth quarter. Dylan Jones added 12 points, knocking down a pair of treys and going 4 for 4 from the charity stripe. Erik Lee chipped in with 10 points and Howell scored nine.

Melville led all scorers with 22 points. Blaze Glenn added 17 points.

“Coach Leary is my coach, and I’ll tell you it’s nice to win, but at the same time I know he does a good job with those kids,” said Moses. “His seniors do a heck of a job, and I have the utmost respect for Coach Leary, and his program, because I played for him.”