Big Reds top Edison

BELLAIRE – Fans on both sides of the Bellaire High School gym endured plenty of pressure-packed moments, especially during the fourth quarter Friday night.

But when the final horn sounded, the Big Reds nipped Edison, 66-65, in boys basketball action.

”Thank goodness the clock ran out so we could take this one and go home,” a relieved Bellaire head coach J.R. Battista said.

The victory was one that almost got away for Bellaire. Or, if you were looking at it from the Wildcats’ perspective, a comeback that came up just short.

”We came out sluggish and we battled back and started taking some good shots,” said Edison head coach Nate Moses, who watched his team battle back from an early 11-0 deficit. ”We just couldn’t finish at the end.”

Following eight ties and a myriad of lead changes through the first three quarters, the Big Reds (5-3) finally started to pull away early in the fourth.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Nathan Steele and Michael Neal gave them a 52-45 advantage with 6:03 remaining. Later, after the Wildcats’ Storm Allese trimmed the lead to 52-47, Steele drained another trey with 5 minutes showing on the clock to boost the lead to 55-47.

With a little more than a minute left, Kenny Hess hit two free throws to give the Big Reds what seemed to be a comfortable 64-55 lead.

Edison had other ideas.

”We couldn’t shake them,” Battista said. ”But that’s a credit to them. They played hard.”

Austin Hyndman drove to the basket and was fouled for Edison. He missed the free throw, but still drew his team to within 64-57. Then, with 38.1 left, Skylar Wilkin made two free throws to make it 64-59.

Edison stole the ball on Bellaire’s ensuing possession and the Big Reds sent the Cats’ Erik Lee to the line. He made one of two to make the count 64-60 with 36 seconds remaining.

Bellaire went back up 65-60 with 27.7 left when Steele made one of two free throws. However, Hyndman came down and made a quick bucket to make it 65-62 and Edison called time with 16.3 showing on the clock.

”We had a 9-point lead and were seemingly almost in control of the game,” Battista said. ”Edison kept battling and making shots and cutting into it.”

Following the timeout, Edison sent Steele to the line. He made one of two making the score 66-62 with 10.2 left.

The Wildcats were able to get a 3 from Wilkin to make it a one-point game (66-65) but just .3 seconds showed on the clock when Edison called time.

On Bellaire’s ensuing possession, Wyatt Back was able to inbound the ball to Collin Kimbro to end the game.

Bellaire was 15 of 18 from the free throw line in the fourth.

Steele, led by four treys, finished with a game-best 21 points. Neal had 17 and Ramsay recorded 16.

Hyndman, Allese and Lee scored 14, 13 and 12, respectively for the Wildcats (2-7). Wilkin finished with 10.