If there was a break to be had, the Springfield High School boys basketball team got it.
There were last-shot victories, improbable comebacks and other assorted head-shaking moments. As they mounted, everything good seemed destined to go the Wildcats’ way.
That all added up to a charmed 13-2 season. And it came undone on Friday night at Beavercreek.
“This was a reality check for us,” admitted Wildcats junior guard Daeshawn Jackson following a 71-66 setback to the Beavers.
“We got hit with it. All those games earlier in the season when we came back and hit lucky shots, it hit us back (vs. Beavercreek). It’s a reality check for all of us.”
The reality is it’s not easy to get a championship bead on any Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division team. Most have taken multiple shots at the top. Beavercreek was there the longest. Springfield, Wayne and Centerville all have taken their turns.
Creek and Wayne are both 13-4 overall and share the Central lead at 6-2. A half-game back at 5-2 are Springfield (13-3 overall) and Centerville (12-6).
Beavercreek swept the series with Springfield, also winning 53-49 on the road earlier this month. The loss snaps the Wildcats’ six-game win streak.
Springfield has three last-second wins and has won five games by three or less points. The Wildcats were at Tippecanoe (12-3) in an intriguing non-league game Saturday night.
Emerging freshman guard Danny Davis and Daeshawn Jackson each tallied 21 points to lead the Wildcats. Springfield betrayed itself at the free-throw line, converting 11 of 26 tries. The Wildcats also trailed 10-0 to start the game.
“It’s just been a journey,” added Jackson. “From last year to this year, I feel like we’re more of a team. This actually will do us good. We’ll probably bounce back better because of this game than we have in the past.”
That’s the kind of talk that stokes Springfield head coach Isaiah Carson. In his third season at the Wildcats’ helm, this easily is his best team, the deepest and most connected.
“We’ve got to be able to go back and learn from this,” Carson said. “It caught us (Friday). Give Beavercreek credit. We didn’t come to play and when we finally turned it on it was too little, too late.”
Winning the GWOC Central remains a priority. Pushing deep into the Division I postseason would be a bonus. Springfield should land a high seed in the upcoming coaches meeting next weekend.
Springfield is at Piqua on Monday and will play Centerville in consecutive games Friday and Saturday. The odd scheduling quirk is the result of a prior postponed game that was rescheduled.
Springfield will host Centerville on Friday and will be at Centerville on Saturday. Those two games may well decide each team’s GWOC Central title fate.
Carson’s role in shaping Springfield boys hoop into a winner is not lost on Jackson.
“We’re getting it back,” Jackson said. “I just like to see (Carson) smiling, like when we’re getting it on defense. I congratulate him on everything he’s doing and helping me progress as a player.”