Edgewood rallies from double-digit deficit to top Ross in OT

ROSS TWP. -- Ross had been sinking 3-point shots all night, from all over the court and a variety of distances, so it was no surprise when Rams sharpshooters connected on three in a span of fewer than 90 seconds to build a commanding 46-31 lead over Southwest Ohio Conference-leading Edgewood with 3:39 left in the third quarter on Friday.

Senior guard David DeSalvo Perez connected from the left corner with 4:35 left in the quarter for his team’s 12th 3-pointer of the game, a team record. Junior Kellen Reid added his seventh and the team’s 13th 46 seconds later.

Unfortunately for the Rams, they couldn’t add any more. Edgewood senior guard Caleb Allen scored on a driving layup in the last minute of regulation to force overtime and senior guard Mason Moore gave the Cougars the lead with, of all things, a 3-pointer from the right wing 38 seconds into the extra period to help them stay unbeaten in the SWOC with a 61-56 win at Ross.

“Mason Moore’s 3-pointer at the start of the overtime was huge,” said Edgewood coach Jason Osterman. “A lot of guys stepped up in the second half.”

Senior guard Dale Yauger and junior guard Peyton Smith each scored 14 points to help offset Ross’s record-setting 3-point attack, which surpassed the 11 connected by the Rams against Loveland in 1995, according to the records board on hanging on the wall outside the locker rooms.

“We shot the ball well,” said Ross coach David Lane, whose name is on the leader board for the most steals in a game. He was standing right across the wall from it as he talked. “David DeSalvo Perez played a complete game.”

Perez finished with 21 points, second on the team behind Reid’s 24.

The Rams, the defending SWOC champions, went into the game second in the SWOC with a 35.3 3-point field-goal percentage, but Friday’s loss was their fifth straight after opening the season 4-0. They slipped to 1-2 in the conference going into a non-league game on Saturday at East Central in Indiana.

Edgewood, which has never won a SWOC championship, improved to 5-4 overall and 3-0 in the league going into a game on Tuesday at Mount Healthy. The Cougars were able to shake off a 55-54 non-conference overtime loss on Tuesday at Badin, even though the 6-foot-4 Allen – a first-team all-conference pick last season who went into the ranked among the SWOC’s top five in scoring, rebounding, blocks and steals – was limited to 11 points. He was averaging 21.5 going into the game.

“This is a great feeling,” Yauger said. “We love it, but none of us are becoming complacent. Our goal is to win the SWOC. That’s our plan.”

The Ross defense focused on Allen, holding him to two points in the first half.

“They were faceguarding him and pushing him around” Osterman said. “We didn’t get many calls.”

Osterman adjusted by having Allen bring the ball upcourt in the second half, giving him more opportunities. The strategy eventually paid off.

“We chipped away and chipped away and chipped away,” Osterman said.

Lane leaned away from blaming inexperience, even though the Rams have just four seniors on their roster after losing five all-conference picks from last year’s championship team. He did admit that his team was a big shorthanded with one player ill and another injured.

“I hate to use the term inexperienced,” he said. “We didn’t make enough plays at the right time. We have to learn how to execute down the stretch.”

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