Comeback Kids in OT

The boys basketball team loses to rival MICDS in a back and forth overtime battle.


Marty Briner

EJ Williams scoops in a left handed layup on a fast break.

Coming out of the gate, it seemed like the Rams were going to pull away and take home a smooth victory. However, the Cats gave them a fight, which is not surprising for Coach Ribble’s gritty group of players.

In the first quarter, MICDS’ Brandon Mitchell-Day set the tone with a dunk to contribute to his team’s six and 0 run. After a made free throw by Caleb Thompson, junior, to end the run, the Rams went on another one, but this time it was seven and 0. With the help of the surprisingly beefy Jack Pronger, MICDS gave Westminster trouble in the paint, blocking shots and rebounding like nobody’s business. At the end of the quarter, the Cats kept the game within reach, trailing fifteen to six.

Jakobi Williams, sophomore, and his brother EJ, junior, gave the Cats some energy heading into the second quarter with a smooth three pointer from Kobi and a charge taken by EJ. When Westminster called a timeout with a little over four minutes left in the quarter, the score gap was closed to only four points with the Rams leading nineteen to fifteen. The younger Williams brother became determined to close the gap completely, shooting three of four from the three in the second quarter alone. However, Mitchell-Day continued to put his team on his back with several tough finishes through contact to maintain a 25 to 23 lead at half time.

After the half time break and some wise words from Coach Ribble, the Cats again started off hot with a three pointer by Casen Lawrence, junior, and an “and one” by Austin Vick, junior, for another three point play. MICDS’ Hasani Spann helped the Rams answer to these plays by draining some memorable shots. The physicality of the game continued, and Westminster called a timeout with a minute and a half remaining in the quarter. With a three pointer each by Lawrence and Vick, the Rams managed to hang onto their lead of 43 to 36 heading into the fourth.

Casen Lawrence brings the ball up the floor. (Marty Briner)

Kobi Williams is truly a force to be reckoned with, as he opened up the quarter with a fast break dunk to get fans on their feet–a display that is becoming routine for the young stud. Williams continued to go off for several minutes with a combination of free throws, jumpers, and fast breaks to help his teammates take their first lead of the game at the five and a half minute mark. MICDS answered this Wildcat run by going on a six and 0 run of their own to put them back up 49 to 44 when Ribble called a timeout with two and a half minutes remaining in the game. After a three pointer by Lawrence to close the score gap to two points, another timeout was called by the Rams. The Cats defense was unbeatable, forcing a five second call to give them much needed possession of the ball. Lawrence continued to show up in clutch time, draining yet another three to give them a 50 to 49 lead. After an MICDS timeout, Nick Roper drew a questionable blocking foul to put him at the line, making one for two of his free throws to tie the game up with 25 seconds left. The Cats held the ball to get the last shot, and Lawrence’s missed three pointer extended the game to overtime.

Mitchell-Day’s athleticism troubled the Wildcats, as he put the Rams up 55 to 50 with two and a half minutes on the clock. After an “and one” from Kobi, the Cats stayed in the game, trailing by a mere three points. However, their full court press couldn’t force a turnover, and Roper went to the line twice for a “one and one” to stretch the lead to 61 to 54. A battle against the clock, Westminster didn’t have enough time to regain the lead, so the score remained the same at the final buzzer.

Despite the loss, the Westminster boys basketball team truly showed their toughness by staying in the game throughout the adversity. Kobi led his team in scoring with seventeen points, Lawrence finished close behind with fifteen, including five out of fourteen threes, Vick snagged eleven rebounds, and EJ dished out an impressive seven assists.

The Cats play next on January 21st against Holt, at their place, at 6:00 PM.