Tecumseh senior Gabe Winans-Berner knows the key to handling stress is to have fun.
So, trailing by nine points in the fourth quarter Tuesday night, it was time for the Arrows to have some.
Tecumseh rallied to force overtime, rallied again from five down to force a second overtime and finally grabbed a big lead to knock off Springfield 82-75 in a nonconference game.
“Those are the funnest games to play in,” Winans-Berner said.
Tecumseh (11-2) came back by making big shots, including 3-pointers, and it got help from Springfield’s inability to make some crucial free throws. The Arrows made 11 of 22 3-point shots, while Springfield made 17 of 30 free throws.
“Our kids have hung in all year and battled,” Arrows coach Roger Culbertson said. “It’s just another example of good character kids that gutted it out and found ways to make big baskets.”
For Springfield, it was another example of struggling to play well with the lead in the fourth quarter. Last week the Wildcats pulled out a similar game in double overtime against Centerville. The Wildcats, who entered the game shooting 59 percent from the line, got the early lead in the first overtime and the Arrows started fouling. The Wildcats made 8 of 15 in the period and Winans-Berner drove for the tying basket with eight seconds left.
“We went to the free-throw line and had chances to ice the game with our best shooters, and we missed them,” Springfield coach Isiah Carson said. “We just didn’t get it done tonight, and I’m very disappointed.”
Casey Stafford and Winans-Berner opened the second overtime with consecutive 3-pointers and the Arrows were having fun.
“We’re all good shooters – we put in the time,” Winans-Berner said. “We have good chemistry, and all these guys are fun to play with. I think that’s what helps us make big shots.”
Winans-Berner led the hot-shooting night with 26 points, and Dalton Davis added 14. The Arrows, who lead the Central Buckeye Conference in 3-point attempts and makes, shot well from everywhere, making 27 of 53 field goals and 17 of 22 free throws.
The Arrows’ spread-it-out offense, which relies on patience and open 3-point shots, took advantage at times of the Wildcats’ aggressive and trapping defense that Carson said too often lacked intensity.
“They’re a high-intensity team and they put a lot of pressure on us,” Culbertson said. “I think we got some looks here and there because of that.”