Shaker Survives Late Scare 75-72 in Bizarre Ending


Don Benincasa

Senior Jeramie Burge walks to the free throw line with the score tied at 72-72. Burge would go on to miss his first free throw, but make his key second one which helped the Raiders go on to win 75-72 against the Euclid Panthers.

For a minute, it felt like a hockey game in the North Gym.

And it almost cost the men’s basketball team a win.

With 20 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, junior guard Amani Redus seemed to give the Raiders the win when he made two free throws to give Shaker a 72-67 lead over visiting Euclid. Then, that same Shaker hero was thrown out of the game along with Euclid sophomore guard Imari Baddour only 10 seconds later. Euclid was awarded six free throws for Redus’ double technical foul and a foul by junior center George Evans. Then, Shaker received two free throws for a Euclid foul.

Shaker got off to a hot start, leading by as much as 11-1 with four minutes left in the first quarter. The Raiders’ success came from causing turnovers and pressing the ball after Euclid misses. But, led by senior center Quintin Dove, Euclid fought back and closed the lead to three at 18-15 by the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw Shaker build a 32-26 lead with substantial success from their pressing defense. Shaker’s tough defense caused 20 turnovers and disrupted the Panthers offense. Euclid added a point at the free throw line to make the halftime score 32-27.

Euclid tied the game with 6:50 left in the third quarter as they started to break Shaker’s press, leading to easy baskets for the Panthers. But the pace of the game increased to Shaker’s liking and the Raiders went ahead 45-36 with 4:24 remaining in the third quarter, forcing Euclid coach Jonathan Harris to call a timeout. Euclid closed Shaker’s lead to seven points by the end of the third quarter to make it a 54-47 game going into the fourth.  

The Raiders surged ahead when the fourth quarter began, leading by 11 with 6:12 left. But Euclid went on a 14-2 run and took back the lead with 4:00 remaining. The two teams fought back and forth. Shaker took a 68-67 lead with 1:11 to play.

The Raiders then made a stop on defense, and Redus made a layup to give his team a three-point lead with 35 seconds left. He then made a spectacular play on defense, stealing the ball and calling a timeout before the Panthers could tie him up for a jump ball. The Panthers were forced to foul Redus, who countered with two clutch free throws to give Shaker what seemed like a safe, five-point lead.

Then, the game turned crazy.

With 20 seconds left, the Panthers launched a three-point attempt, which bounced off the rim. A fight for the loose ball ensued. Euclid’s Dove picked up the ball and was fouled by Evans. Redus then exchanged words with Dove and pushed him. He pushed back, the benches partially emptied, and the pair had to be separated by teammates.

Confusion filled the gym while the referees discussed the altercation. Redus was thrown out of the game, and Baddour was also ejected.

The crowd grew even more confused when Euclid’s Dove went to the free throw line and shot not only the expected two shots, but six. Shaker coach Danny Young commented on the free throws that were given as a result of the play.

“I think [Redus] pushed [Dove] and said something, so Amani got hit with two technicals… that’s four free throws, and then George fouled [Dove] so that’s two more free throws, and then [Dove] fouled him back,” giving Shaker two free throws, Young said.

He made five of them and all of a sudden the game, which Shaker seemed to have in hand, was tied.

After Dove’s six free throws, Shaker senior Jeramie Burge made one of two free throws awarded to him for a Euclid foul called during the altercation. Shaker was also awarded possession of the ball with 9.2 seconds remaining. A Euclid player fouled intentionally to stop the clock. Shaker junior James Williams made both free throws to go up by three. With 7 seconds left,  Euclid’s last chance to send the game into overtime ended abruptly when Shaker stole the ball and dribbled out the rest of the clock.

After the game, Young tried to explain the unusual conclusion. “I think George fouled the kid, got tangled up a little bit, number 34 [Dove] got chippy a little bit… I guess Amani saw something that was a little extra and went in for a push and got T’d up twice.”

Shaker survived the late scare due to its full court press and run-and-gun offense. They pushed the ball down court quickly and tried to score in transition instead of setting up in the half-court offense. Shaker lacks size, so Young uses quicker smaller players to move the ball as fast as possible.

“We have got to play up-tempo. We have to try and press and force tempo, which will allow us to get good looks at the rim,” Young said.

Young noted the Raiders must focus on converting defense into offense. Last night, this strategy was effective, as Amani Redus and sophomore guard Dale Bonner each had four steals.

Young credited Bonner with his tough on-ball defense.

“Dale is one of the best defenders on our team. I thought he did a good job.”

While Shaker’s full court press defense did come up with 20 turnovers, it also gave up many easy baskets when Euclid offense broke through the press. Quintin Dove, a Division I Recruit going to Ryder University next year, had an exceptional game for the Panthers.

Euclid’s loss gives them a 3-8 record in regular season play, and a record of 0-9 in the Great Lakes Conference.

With the win, the Raiders go to 5-5 on the season and 2-2 in the Great Lakes Conference. They will host the Medina Bees on Friday night.  


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