Whiteford’s season comes to a close with 42-40 loss to Arbor Prep


ERIE – Whiteford’s season came to an abrupt end Monday night on opening night of the state tournament.

The Bobcats dropped a 42-40 game to Ypsilanti Arbor Prep in a game that came down to the final seconds. Arbor Prep reached the semifinals with a shot inside the final three seconds after the Bobcats came from six down to tie the game with 17 seconds left.

“Tough way to lose,” Bobcat coach Nick Abalos said. “I’m proud of the kids for coming back. We knew we weren’t out of it.”

Whiteford led 8-3 in the first quarter for its largest lead of the game. After that, the game saw eight lead changes and five ties in a back-and-forth battle.

Arbor Prep (9-12) took a 40-34 lead with 2:34 remaining, forcing a Bobcat timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Whiteford senior Shea Ruddy got the ball inside and was fouled. He made both free throws to make it 40-36. Ruddy got a steal on Arbor Prep’s next possession, passing it ahead to Evan Parker for a layup and a 40-38 game with 1:22 left.

The Gators missed the front end of a one-and-one with 46 seconds left. Whiteford whittled the clock down and tied it 40-40 on a Luke Rasor bucket on a great pass from Hunter DeBarr with 17 seconds left.

Arbor Prep hurried the ball into the front court and, without calling a timeout, set up a play where they spread out the offense and allowed Xzavier Parker-Brooks to go one-on-one with his defender. He got to the basket and laid in a layup with :03 left on the clock.

The Bobcats called a timeout and got up a shot, but it was off the mark and the promising season came to an end at 15-8. After a five-game win streak, the Bobcats lost two of its final three games on last-second shots.

“We lose a couple of seniors (Ruddy and Luke Rasor) but we have a lot of juniors coming back who are hungry,” Abalos said. “They want to get to work right away on next year, which I love.”

WHITEFORD 10 12 8 10 – 40

ARBOR PREP 12 10 9 11 – 42

Whiteford: S. Ruddy 1 3-4 5, Joerin 2(2) 0-0 6, DeBarr 2 1-2 5, Rasor 3 2-3 8, Parker 5 1-2 11, Masserant 1 3-6 5. Totals 14(2) 10-17 40.

Arbor Prep: Marshall 1(1) 0-0 3, King-Watson 2 0-0 4, Partee 5(3) 1-2 14, Connor 3 0-0 6, Parker-Brooks  4(1) 2-3 11, Roberts 2 0-0 4. Totals 17(5) 3-5 42.

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