STERLING – For a good chunk of Sterling’s boys basketball game against United Township, the Jordan Rules were in effect, in that Golden Warrior junior forward Trevon Jordan was the dominant figure on the court.
Sterling needed every last bit of his dominance to hold off a determined group of Panthers.
United Township made a furious comeback at the end and had the last shot to steal a win, but Sterling prevailed 56-54 in a nail-biter Tuesday night in Musgrove Fieldhouse.
Jordan was virtually unstoppable at times for the Golden Warriors, and finished with 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting. He also had eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
“The shots were going, and I was able to get into the paint and get some easy buckets,” Jordan said. “That’s about it.”
The Golden Warriors (15-12, 4-7 Western Big 6) looked like they would have a cakewalk for a good chunk of the game. A thunderous tomahawk dunk by Trevor Vos highlighted a late run in the first quarter, and Sterling led by as many as 17 points (39-22) after a basket by Jordan with 4:35 left in the third quarter.
United Township (11-16, 4-7) slowly began to chip away. Spurred on by back-to-back three-point plays by junior guard Daslah Geadeyan, the Panthers crept to within 43-37 after three quarters.
“The ball was moving and we stopped turning the ball over,” UT coach Ryan Webber said. “We had eight turnovers in the second quarter, which dug ourselves a big hole.”
UT kept the heat on Sterling, and finally tied the score at 52-52 after a 3 by Izaya Bustos with 2:30 go. The game’s last tie was at 54-54 following a short jumper by the Panthers’ Malykai Trice with 1:18 to go.
Sterling regained the lead on a pair of free throws with 1:07 to go by Cooper Willman, and as it turned out, those were the last points of the game.
UT called timeout with 47.5 seconds to to, only to have Michael Merrick whistled for an illegal screen with 39.3 seconds left.
Sterling called timeout with 21.4 seconds to go, after dodging a pair of potential traveling violations that the UT coaching staff were screaming should have been called.
With 15.7 seconds to go, Vos was called for a travel, giving the Panthers the last shot.
By that point, the Panthers were out of timeouts, so Webber couldn’t dial up a play in the huddle. They ended up getting a clean look from Geadeyan from the top of the key with 2 seconds left, but it hit hard off the heel of the rim.
“When the ball came back to Das, he got a pretty good look at it,” Webber said. “It was dead center, back iron. He’s been shooting it well for us. He’s been a 2-year starter for us as a junior, and he deserved for that shot to go in.”
Bustos was 5-for-14 from 3-point range and led UT with 19 points, while Geadeyan finished with 18. Trice chipped in nine points and six assists.
Vos finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Sterling, while Noel Aponte had nine points and five assists, Willman had eight points, three assists and two steals, and JP Schilling added six assists and three steals.
Sterling 56, United Township 54
Star of the game: Trevon Jordan, Sterling, 20 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocked shots
Key performers: Izaya Bustos, UT, 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists; Trevor Vos, Sterling, 11 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists
Up next: Alleman at Sterling, 7:30 p.m. Friday
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