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Examiner
  • Late resolve rescues Indians

  • A little bit of pressure isn’t likely to crack the Fort Osage boys basketball team.

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  • A little bit of pressure isn’t likely to crack the Fort Osage boys basketball team.
    The Indians faced plenty of tense moments during Wednesday night’s game against Winnetonka at Fort Osage High School. With just more than two minutes remaining, the Griffins held a four-point lead as the Fort offense suddenly shifted into neutral.
    But a key three-point play by senior D’Vante Mosby allowed the Indians to regain the lead and Fort pulled away in the final minutes for a 56-55 victory and their 12th win in the last 14 games.
    “We had a conversation before the game and said, ‘Fellas, this is a district-caliber game. It’s end of the season time. They’re good. We’re pretty good. It’s going to be a war.’”
    The Indians (14-4) seized control early, taking an 18-12 lead in the first period and building the margin to as much as 27-18 in the second as they connected on 5 of 7 3-point tries against Winnetonka’s zone defense. But late in the half, the Griffins started pressuring Fort in the backcourt and the Indians turned the ball over on six of their final eight possessions before halftime. That enabled Winnetonka to enter the locker room tied at 31 after a 13-4 run.
    “They just got us sped up,” Wilson said. “Our strength is when we run our sets, when we get the ball inside. They have to work on offense. ... If we have a primary break, get it. If not, pull it out and get the ball in the hands of our big guys.”
    The Griffins carried their momentum into the third quarter as they scored seven straight points in the middle of the period to take a 44-39 advantage. Fort’s Will Penamon drained a 3-pointer at the 1:18 mark to break a more-than-four-minute scoreless drought and Austin Regier dropped in a bucket to help the Indians draw even going into the fourth.
    The teams traded four leads in the first four minutes of the fourth, but the Griffins gradually pulled ahead 52-48. Freshman Skylar Thompson brought Fort within 52-50 with a basket 2:18 left. Two possessions later, Mosby caught a pass off an inbounds play, drew a foul, nailed the bucket and converted the free throw to give the Indians a 53-52 lead on his only points of the game.
    In the final 1:13, the Griffins missed a pair of free throws and three 3-point attempts while Thompson knocked down a pair from the line and Regier went 1 of 2 to give Fort a 56-52 advantage. Winnetonka’s Omar Wright hit a 3-pointer just before time expired to produce the final margin.
    “Even though we had a lot of adversity throughout this game, we did a real good job staying together,” said Regier, who totaled 11 points, six rebounds and three steals. “I think we just stayed confident. I think all of us thought that we were going to win this game and went out there and proved it.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Thompson paced Fort with 19 points, Penamon added 13 and Zach Adams totaled eight points and seven boards.
    “Guys just know when to step up when we need them,” Adams said. “Someone goes down, we got someone to pick it back up.”
    Bennie Curtis led Winnetonka with 18 points and eight rebounds and Wright scored 14 points off the bench.
     

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