Sunday, March 9, 2014
AUGUSTA — Cony junior Liam Stokes already has a game-winning shot at the buzzer this season.
Another one was unfair to ask and too much to expect.
Andrew Fleming scored a game-high 28 points, Matt Beauchesne added 16 and Oxford Hills pulled out a 73-65 overtime victory Friday night over Cony, which nearly won it at the buzzer in regulation when Stokes got a good look from about 14 feet out.
However, the shot rimmed out, the teams went to overtime, and the Vikings held on for a key Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A victory.
“It was asking too much for him,” Cony coach T.J. Maines said. “To hit two game-winners at home in one season, that’s hard to do.”
Luke Davidson scored 15 points and Dalton Rice added 11 for Oxford Hills, which made 11 of 12 free throws in the four-minute overtime.
Tyler Tardiff and Stokes each scored 14 points for Cony (5-10), whose playoff hopes took a big hit with the loss.
“It was a tough loss,” Tardiff said. “This makes it difficult for us now. We’ll probably have to win our last three games to get in. It makes it harder.”
Neither team led by more than seven points in regulation.
Cony appeared poised to grab a much-needed victory when Stokes drove to the basket and hit a shot for a 51-47 lead with just under two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
However, the Vikings charged back on a Fleming inside basket and four free throws — the final two by Rice with 32 seconds left tied the game at 53.
Fleming then took over in overtime, scoring six points —four from the line —and grabbing three rebounds. He finished with 12 rebounds, including five at the offensive end.
Stokes, who hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer in a 54-53 win over Lawrence last week, scored four in overtime but it wasn’t enough for the Rams.
“Fleming was the man tonight,” Oxford Hills coach Scott Graffam said. “He was a bear on the backboard. This is a huge win for us. Neither team deserved to lose.”
Cony trailed 12-11 after the first quarter and 29-28 at the half, thanks to a 3-pointer by Alex Neill at the buzzer.
Neill made his second 3-pointer and Stokes followed with a pull-up jumper midway through the third quarter to give Cony its first lead since the first, 36-34.
There were 10 lead changes in the game.
“We missed a lot of inside baskets and we struggled from the line,” Maines said. “You won’t win too many games doing that. It’s tough but we played out butts off. We didn’t give in. I’m proud of the effort but I just wish we could’ve made a few more shots.”Bill Stewart — email@example.comTwitter: @billstewartkj