FAIRBORN — A perfect display of teamwork led the Beavercreek Beavers to a 72-70 buzzer-beating win over Fairborn on Friday.
With less than 10 seconds left, Airius Moore drove and dished to Tyler Reasoner, who touch-passed to an open Zach Rower under the bucket for the winning hoop with 1.8 seconds left to keep Beavercreek undefeated and spoil Fairborn’s upset bid at Baker Memorial Fieldhouse.
A Fairborn half-court shot fell short as Beavercreek improved to 9-0 with the Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover win.
“Airius is usually the one that’s going to take that last shot,” Reasoner said. “(But) he always does the right thing and I trust him. I saw Zach’s guy left and I knew he was going to be open.”
With nobody guarding him, the 6-foot-9 Rower had one thought.
“Get it up quick,” he said. “I’ve missed easy buckets before. (But I was) determined to get that one in.”
Rower was one of four double-digit scorers for the Beavers with 13 points. Reasoner had 20, 16 in the second half, while Moore had 16 and Jarred Waters 13.
Beavercreek trailed by four with 1:33 left, but Moore made a pair from the line with 1:25 left. Beavercreek forced a turnover and Moore made a driving basket to tie it with 38 seconds left. Fairborn’s Jordan Michael tried to win it for the Skyhawks, but Rower defended his driving shot and Beavercreek corralled the rebound setting up the final sequence.
The last-second bucket put a damper on a career night by Michael, who played more like Michael Jordan. Shooting 10 of 16 from the field, the 6-1 guard scored a career-high 32 points including 21 in the first half as Fairborn opened a 41-31 halftime lead. Malik Jacobs finished with 14 for the 2-5 Skyhawks.
“(Michael) got hot and we were going to continue to get him the basketball,” said Fairborn coach Nathan Chivington. “(Our team) wanted him to have the ball at that point in time.”
His shooting touch was emblematic of what the entire team did in the first half.
“They made an (unbelievable) number of 3-point shots,” Beavercreek coach John Ahrns said. “Jordan Michael was amazing.”
Michael, who made 6 of 9 from 3-point range, has scored 63 points in his last two games, both close losses to the GWOC’s best in Beavercreek and Springfield.
“I was making shots today,” Michael said. “My teammates were helping me.”
But the second half was a different story as the Beavers erased the 10-point deficit in the first five minutes of the second half and actually led 51-49 after three quarters.
The teams traded makes and misses with neither team leading by more than five.
“They missed,” Ahrns said. “That’s largely it.”
And as usual, Beavercreek tightened the screws on defense, holding Michael to “just” 11 second- half points while forcing a plethora of turnovers.
“We definitely can’t turn the ball over,” Chivington said. “We had some key turnovers and gave up some important offensive rebounds. (But) I thought our guys still kept their composure.”
Added Michael: “Airius Moore is a really good defender.”
And a pretty good passer too.