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Southview’s Justin Schaffer calmly sank two free throws Friday night after coming up with a steal to secure a 45-42 upset victory over Perrysburg in a Northern Lakes League boys basketball battle.
Schaffer has an approach to staying focused in those situations.
“I usually try to think of anything not basketball related,” Schaffer said. “I was thinking of food, a vanilla cake.”
His only two free throws of the game were the icing on the cake.
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“I don’t know if it was a great play on his steal. They threw it right to him, and he caught it fortunately,” Southview coach Bruce Smith said. “He’s a tremendous free-throw shooter so I felt pretty good about him going to the line in that situation.”
Perrysburg (9-1, 4-1 NLL) had a chance to tie the score to send the game into overtime, but Matt Mesker’s 3-point attempt just before the final buzzer bounced off the rim.
The Cougars (7-2, 3-2) leaned heavily on Matt Morrison after trailing 28-19 at halftime.
The 5-foot-10 senior pumped in a game-high 21 points, including nine in the fourth quarter. Morrison scored 14 after halftime. Nate Hall finished with seven points and Leon Eggleston had six for the Cougars.
“We were just running, and I got some easy shots,” Morrison said. “My teammates spread it out for me and I got easy shots, and I was confident that if I missed, one of my teammates would get the rebound and put it back up for us.”
Morrison dominated the play for a stretch of the second half when he became more assertive on offense.
“We were a little more patient in the second half and got some better looks, and Matt Morrison went about three minutes where he was pretty good,” Smith said.
Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce thought the Cougars outplayed the Yellow Jackets in the second half.
“I thought it was a good game,” he said. “It was a hard-played game. You have to give them all the credit in the world for coming out in the second half with a lot of energy and really taking over the momentum.”
Nick Moschetti led the Yellow Jackets with 12 points. Quinn Thomas finished with 10 points.
The Yellow Jackets made only 12 of 22 foul shots, while the Cougars drained 15 of 19.
“Give Morrison some credit, he created some shots in the open court,” Boyce said. “He played well.”
Perrysburg closed out the third quarter owning a 36-30 lead.
The Cougars opened the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run. Morrison tied the game at 36 before giving Southview a 39-36 lead with a 3-pointer with 6 minutes, 30 seconds left.
Perrysburg regained the lead 41-39 on a 3-pointer by Thomas.
Jeremiah Roberts made two foul shots for Southview to tie it at 41 with 1:44. Willie Bankston sank two free throws for a 43-41 lead with 56 seconds remaining.
Matt Kaczinski hit a free throw to pull Perrysburg within one.
The Jackets stole the ball in the final 20 seconds, but Schaffer did the same for his late-game heroics.
“To do this against them with one day of practice speaks volumes about the heart of our kids,” Smith said.