OSSIAN – It was setting up to be a forgettable night for the Norwell boys' basketball team.
It ended up being more than memorable.
The Knights erased a 21-point third quarter deficit and defeated visiting Wayne 85-80 in overtime in a bizarre contest that has both coaches shaking their heads in post-game interviews.
There were 52 fouls called between the two squads, with five players fouling out.
A combined 77 foul shots were taken, with Wayne taking all 30 of its foul shot attempts in the fourth quarter and overtime.
The Generals made just three field goals in the fourth quarter and overtime.
All told, a wild night in Ossian with Norwell picking up a big victory.
“I just wanted to show some pride in the second half to be honest with you,” Norwell coach Randy Hawkins said. “We came out with some intensity and trusted our teammates and got back into the game.”
A Josh Smiley basket with just less than six minutes left in the third quarter gave Wayne a 47-26 lead, with the Generals seemingly in control by attacking the basket consistently on the offensive end and Norwell having a tough time making shots.
The Knights (7-2) cut the deficit to 11 by the end of the third by getting second-chance baskets and some defensive stops.
Wayne (7-3) foul trouble did not hurt either, with the team's leading scorer Justin Mitchell relegated to the bench at times.
That led into the fourth quarter, with the Generals scoring all 20 of its points from the free throw line.
“We had just eight shots in the fourth quarter, and that is after we probably played our best half of basketball of the season in the first half,” Wayne coach Aaron Rehrer said. “We just kind of collapsed.”
A Josh Van Meter 3-pointer tied the game at 71 with just over a minute left in regulation. After a Generals timeout, Mitchell was fouled with 15 seconds left and made 1-of-2 free throws.
Norwell's David Vogel was fouled with 1.2 seconds left with a chance at the victory. He made the first but missed the second to send the game into overtime.
The game went back and forth in the extra session before Norwell went on an 8-2 run to seal the victory.
The Knights shot 9-of-10 from the free throw line in overtime.
“The bottom line is, we needed to get stops and when we needed to get them to stop the bleeding, we didn't,” Rehrer said.
Levi Mitchell stepped up for Wayne and scored a team-high 27 points. Jescus Mitchell added 20.
For Nowell, it was a victory that should pay dividends down the road.
“We only brought back one player (Van Meter) that had a lot of playing time from last year,” Hawkins said. “We are inexperienced in a lot of areas and games like this really help us.”
Van Meter had a game-high 29 points and Drew Shively added 26 points for the Knights.
NORWELL 85, WAYNE 80 (OT)
Wayne 21 18 13 20 8 - 80
Norwell 12 10 19 31 13 - 85
Wayne: Justin Mitchell 17, Walker 4, Levi Mitchell 27, Black 3, Jescus Mitchell 20, Catalan 1, Smiley 8.
Norwell: Bates 1, Van Meter 29, Hayden 8, Vogel 3, Denney 15, Harnish 1, Schumm 2, Shively 26.