Josh Irwin has made plenty of big shots in his two years at West Geauga but his buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat Kirtland on Friday, 67-65, might be the biggest of them all.
Kirtland’s Dawson Cosgrove hit a jump shot with six seconds remaining to give the Hornets just their second lead of the game.
It didn’t last long.
“It was an exciting finish,” West Geauga coach Jeff Javorek said. “We wanted to get the ball in Josh’s hands and we’ll always take our chances.”
Marco Formichelli took the inbounds pass and dribbled across midcourt where he saw Irwin covered by two Kirtland defenders.
Irwin never hesitated.
He accepted Formichelli’s pass and launched the game-winner.
“We had the lead most of the game and knocked down free throws down the stretch,” Javorek said. “It was a great team effort. It was a hard fought game. Kirtland is a tough team.”
West Geauga led at halftime, 33-30, and 51-44 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Hornets rallied for the lead but West Geauga responded with the biggest play of the game.
“The kids did a nice job of battling back to take the lead,” Kirtland coach Shawn McGregor said. “Multiple guys made plays down the stretch, which was great to see.”
Luke Camino hit a big 3-pointer to cut into West Geauga’s lead and Domenic Capretta hit a deep ball to tie the game. Jack Bailey added a key pair of free throws and Cosgrove gave the Hornets what they hoped would be the final basket of the game.
West Geauga had other ideas and handed the Hornets their third straight loss.
“The last two games we had opportunities to make plays down the stretch and didn’t,” McGregor said. “Today, we made plays, so I feel we are growing as a team and starting to come together.”
Irwin scored a game-high 20 points for West Geauga and Formichelli contributed to the win with 19.
Adam Mueller led Kirtland with 17 points while Seann McGill and Cosgrove finished with 13 and 10, respectively.
Video via @NHPreps on Twitter.
West Geauga 67, Kirtland 65
Kirtland (11-4): Capretta 9, Mueller 17, Cosgrove 10, McGill 13, Bailey 4, Camino 8, DeMarco 4
West G (8-12): Irwin 20, Formichelli 19, J. Gruber 7, Pitcock 9, Garrett 7, Wolfhope 4, Javorek 1
Kirtland 15 15 14 21 — 65
West G 15 18 18 16 — 67
Free throws: Kirtland 8 of 11, West G 23 of 33; 3-pointers: Kirtland 9 (Capretta 3, Mueller 3, Cosgrove, McGill, Camino), West G 10 (Formichelli 4, Irwin 2, Gruber 2, Wolfhope, Garrett); Rebounds: Kirtland 28 (McGill 7), West G 27 (Irwin 12); Assists: Kirtland 14 (Camino 4, Cosgrove 4), West G 9 (Formichelli 3, Irwin 3)