Casey Graver's half-court heave not enough in Lake Oswego loss to Barlow
6A BOYS BASKETBALL
|Lake Oswego Lakers ... OT|
Lake Oswego senior Casey Graver has flung up halfcourt shots in practice time after time. But none were quite like this.
Down by three points against Barlow with 2.3 seconds left in LO's Tuesday, Dec. 7, contest at Barlow High School, Graver hauled in a pass near midcourt, took a couple dribbles and found himself pinned between a defender on one side and a line of cheerleaders on the other.
Still, he managed to let loose with a heave at the horn that spun toward the basket, hit the center of the box on the backboard and careened through the net to send the game to overtime.
"Before their last free throws, we huddled up and I told my teammates to find me at halfcourt," Graver said. "That's a shot you practice all the time, and I've pulled off a few of those in youth leagues, but nothing quite like this."
"He's one of those guys who lives for the moment, and when he shot it, you just felt like it was going in," Barlow guard Jesse White said. "We just had to keep our composure and go get the win in overtime."
And that is how it played out with Barlow never trailing over the extra four minutes to claim the 60-54 win.
On the first possession, White drove the right side of the lane and ducked under the arm of a defender for a layup off the glass that put Barlow back in the lead.
"Once you get a step on someone, you just have to extend and find a way to get the ball up there," White said.
On the next trip, White drew a foul away from the ball and sank both shots. Perhaps more important, Lake Oswego starter Jack Chlumak, who finished with 11 points, fouled out on the play.
Barlow got the winning bucket near the two-minute mark when Barlow's Evan Inglesby collected a loose ball and fired a long pass ahead that found White for a breakaway and a 56-52 lead.
"Lake Oswego is a good team, so you have to keep putting points on the board when you can get them," White said.
White finished with a game-high 27 points.
The Bruins' closed out the victory on the defensive end where Joey Wolcott and Jaren Hunter drew charging fouls, resulting in costly Lake Oswego turnovers on back-to-back possessions.
"We wanted to get the ball out of their hands in a close game," Wolcott said.
After a run of narrow losses to top-tier teams this season, Tuesday's result provided the Bruins with a signature win against a Lakers team that reached the Class 6A state semifinals last year.
Barlow's Connor Hills came off the bench and supplied a go-ahead 3-pointer near the end of the first quarter and another at the start of the second. Ten minutes into the game, the Bruins would go up 19-11, their largest lead of the night, when Inglesby turned into the lane, then spun the other way and put up a shot that hopped on the side of the rim and trickled through the net.
The Lakers were held without a bucket for nearly five minutes to start the second quarter.
Lake Oswego closed the gap to four points late in the third period and had a chance to get within one when Graver emerged from a loose-ball scramble. With the final seconds ticking away, he had no choice but to let loose with a double-pump heave from the center-court logo. The shot was on line, but clipped the front of the rim at the horn.
Lake Oswego carried its momentum into the fourth quarter when Noah Kniss dove out of bounds and saved the ball to teammate Grayden Smith before sliding into the water bucket at the end of Barlow's bench. The Lakers made the most of the extra effort, drawing three fouls against the Bruins before Smith drove the baseline for a layup to make it a two-point game.
Lake Oswego tied the score twice in the coming minutes — once on a Graver 3-pointer and again on a Trace Shelton free throw with 3:16 to play.
"As it got closer to the end, it became intense with both teams diving on the floor and going after loose balls," Shelton said. "We were staying connected and trusting one another."
Meanwhile, Inglesby hit the floor hard and had to be helped to the bench by the team's trainer with 5:33 to play. Inglesby quickly removed his left shoe, untied an ankle brace and the trainer applied a fresh tape job. Inglesby put all his parts back together and slipped to the side of the grandstands to test out his ankle.
Within minutes, he returned to the court to rousing applause from the packed home crowd.
Inglesby was tested immediately. Fouled while reaching for an inbounds pass, he went to the free throw line and sank the first of his two free throws to put Barlow back on top 38-37.
"I just knew I had to fix it up and get back out there," Inglesby said. "I can rest it tomorrow, but we needed to get the win tonight."
Lake Oswego had another chance to grab the lead when Chlumak drove in close only to be walled off by Wolcott and missing a difficult shot. The ball came to White, who looked up the floor and found Wolcott near the rim for an easy two and a 40-37 lead as the clock moved under three minutes.
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LAKE OSWEGO 11 8 10 21 4 — 54
BARLOW 12 11 10 17 10 — 60
Lake Oswego (54) — Casey Graver 13, Trace Salton 13, Jack Chlumak 11, Grayden Smith 7, Grant Brauner 6, Noah Kniss 2, Jake Archambo 2, Woolf, Abere.
Barlow (60) — Jesse White 27, Evan Inglesby 12, Joey Wolcott 8, Connor Hills 6, Josh Nomie 4, Jaren Hunter 3, Jones, Amadio, Weber.
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