Playing ina nonconference game toward the end of a long season, Oswego East and Metea Valley still generated quite a bit of heat in the Mustangs’ gym.
There was plenty of offense from both sides as Oswego East, who led most of the way, held off the Mustangs 90-85.
Fiveplayers scored in double figures foreach teaminthe high-octane contest.
“I don’t think either coach was happy with the defensive effort,” said Oswego East coach Steve Szymanski. “It came easy driving to the basket early, so we stuck with it. You never want to trade baskets, but a win’s a win.”
Mike McAllister, coming off a 24-point effort against archrival Oswego that included a game-winning trey, had 23 points to lead Oswego East.
“Mike got to the lane a lot, but not keeping control of his emotions at the end could have hurt us,” said Szymanski.
McAllisterappeared to have locked up his team’s win when he stole the ball from Bryson Oliver and was fouled, with the Wolves up 87-83. But McAllister was whistled for a technical foul, his fifth, and after the Mustangs converted both free throws, they retained the ball.
Nick Dodson had a good look at a three-pointer which would have tied the game, but rimmed the shot and Oswego East iced the game at the line.
The Wolves led by as much as 61-52 late in the third period after Trevor Ross (18 points) scored a couple baskets and a trey. But Metea Valley came back with Oliver leading the way to close within 66-63 after three quarters.
Oliver, a 5-foot-7 point guard, was sensational in defeat for the Mustangs with 17 points, five assists, and nonstop energy.
The Mustangs (14-10) finally regained the lead 70-69 with six minutes left on an Oliver floater. Devin Flowers (11 points) responded with a three-pointer off a feed from Ross, and the Wolves scored seven straight points to open up some breathing room.
“If we score 85 points in a game, we should win,” said Metea Valley coach Bob Vozza. “We had way too many turnovers in the fourth quarter, and we could not string any stops together. I give our guys credit – they fought until the end, as they have all year.”
Jalen Williams contributed 19 points off the bench for Oswego East (9-12), including 6-of-7 free throws in the second half. Also cracking double figures off the bench was Houston McCullum with 11 points.
For the Mustangs, Marquell Oliver was a force offensively with a team-high 22 points before fouling out. Center Mark Konkle had 19 points and 11 rebounds but didn’t play the final 12 minutes. Eddie Golston chipped in with 10 points.