The referees had to put 0.8 seconds back on the clock after the buzzer had sounded Friday night.
Seward senior Matthew Sherman was fouled on his putback attempt, earning a trip to the line with the game on his shoulders. He missed the first free throw, but found a way to sink the second for a 48-47 home win against the visiting Blair Bears.
“I feel for them,” BHS coach Chris Whitwer said of his players. “They continue to work hard. The effort that they gave tonight was everything that we asked for.”
But it wasn't quite enough to knock off the Bluejays (3-13 overall), who celebrated after BHS' full-court heave came up empty. The Bears, meanwhile, fell to 3-14 in heart-breaking defeat.
“I just kind of hurt because they're working hard, and it would be nice to get a reward for them,” Whitwer said.
Blair seemed poised to break out of its seven-game losing streak with a 13-5 first period. During the middle of the first 8 minutes, the Bears went on a 10-0 run. Sophomore Luke Ladwig, who started, opened the tear with a made shot before senior Max Nickerson ended it with an and-1 play.
The Bears remained in control through two periods, leading 24-17 at the half. The third quarter, though, belonged to Seward. It outscored BHS 14-8, pulling within one point by the start of the fourth.
The Bluejays took the lead on the first possession of the fourth and held advantages as large as nine before it Whitwer's team's time to make a comeback. Nickerson's two free throws pulled the Bears within 45-38 before Auggie Rasmussen's 3-pointer further cut into the home team's lead with 2:19 remaining.
Sam Lawton added three points to the Bears' total during the next 2 minutes before Nickerson cashed a game-tying 3 with just 22 seconds left on the clock. Both teams had missed foul shots down the stretch, but Sherman eventually made the one that counted after Blair was unable to pull down a last-second rebound.
In the end, Whitwer was happy to compliment the showing, though he couldn't celebrate the result.
“That was our first game where we had complete effort through,” he said. “Lineups changed a little bit. Guys that didn't get to start tonight came in and had great games for us. Guys that started did very well for us.”
But the loss was the Bears' eighth of 2020 and its eighth straight this season.
Crete tops BHS, 48-37
The Blair boys basketball team lost another halftime lead Saturday, dropping a 48-37 home game to Crete.
The Bears went ahead 13-10 through one period on Rasmussen's 3-pointer, and led 23-22 through two, before the Cardinals used a 14-4 third quarter to take control.
Rasmussen led Blair with 12 points, while Ladwig had nine, according to the 97.3 FM radio broadcast.