By DOUG DONNELLY
OTTAWA LAKE – Shea Ruddy gave Whiteford a three-point lead with 41 seconds left and Luke Rasor iced the game by going 4-for-4 from the line in the final six seconds to lift the Bobcats to a 54-49 overtime win over Ida.
The Bobcats led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter but Ida took advantage of some untimely turnovers to claw back into the game. Ida’s A.J. Schrader got a steal with just over a minute left in regulation and the Bluestreaks worked the ball inside to Carter Diedrich for a game-tying field goal with 1:01 left in the fourth quarter.
The Bobcats held the ball the final 61 seconds but couldn’t get a clean look at the basket and the game went into overtime.
Ida never led in overtime. Ruddy grabbed a steal quickly after Ida won the overtime tip and converted a layup to make it 46-44. Kirby Carten tied the game at 46-46 before Ruddy made a pair of free throws with 3:03 left to give the Bobcats a lead they would never relinquish.
Ida was able to pull within 48-47 on a free throw by Nathan Miller and 50-49 on a free throw by Carsten, but Rasor grabbed the rebound on the second attempt, was fouled and made a pair of free throws for a 52-49 lead. After a timeout, Ida threw the ball inbounds and Rasor stepped in front of a pass for a steal, was fouled, and made both shots with :01 seconds left to secure the win.
“He played big the whole game,” Whiteford head coach Nick Abalos said of Rasor. “He helped us get a lead and helped us be tough down low against the giants. When it was time to put the game away, it was him. I was very proud of him.”
Rasor finished with 19 points while Ruddy and Evan Parker each scored 12.
It was Whiteford’s first win over Ida since 2014. The Bobcats have won seven straight games and are at rival Summerfield Tuesday before a TCC showdown with Erie Mason on Friday.
Ida’s Carsten scored 12 points and Tyler Robertson 10, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Ida has dropped three straight and is 5-7.
Whiteford 54, Ida 49
IDA 13 7 14 10 5 – 49
WHITEFORD 14 16 8 6 10 – 54
Ida: Robertson 4(2) 0-0 10, Miller 1 2-4 4, Kukiela 2(1) 1-2 6, Schrader 4 1-2 9, Hemry 1(1) 1-2 4, Diedrich 2 0-0 4, Carsten 5 2-4 12. Totals 19(4) 7-10 49.
Whiteford: S. Ruddy 4 4-8 12, Joerin 3 0-0 6, DeBarr 1 2-4 4, Rasor 6(2) 5-5 19, Parker 4 4-4 12, Masserant 0 1-2 1. Totals 18(2) 16-23 54.