BESSEMER - The last play was gutsy. That was pretty fitting for Ewen-Trout Creek's gutsy effort.
Ewen-Trout Creek pulled out a 34-32 win over Bessemer in Wednesday's Class D District 127 semifinal at the House of Noise. They capped it with a tough inbounds play to run out the clock.
The E-TC offense sputtered with leading scorer Dillon Gordon at about 50 percent after he severely sprained his ankle last week in one of two regular-season losses to Bessemer. His teammates stepped up with lights-out defense the entire game Wednesday and big plays in the final moments.
Perhaps the biggest play was saved for last in this very close nailbiter.
Bessemer pulled within 34-32 on a Taylor Smith layup with 3.3 seconds left in the game.
Instead of leaving things to chance on the inbounds play, E-TC went for the home run. And it cleared the fence.
Ewen-TC 11 11 7 5 - 34
Bessemer 5 9 12 6 - 32
E-TC - Logan Maki 6, Mike Borseth 14, Cole Besonen 4, Keith Kauss 4, Lane Brown 6. FTs: 4-8. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None. 3-pointers: Maki 1, Borseth 1.
Bessemer - Jess Mazzon 2, Ben Zielinski 11, Taylor Smith 11, Lance Berwald 2, Zack Mazurek 6. FTs: 6-12. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None. 3-pointers: Berwald 1, Mazurek 1.
Lane Brown tossed it to Cole Besonen, who was still out of bounds along the baseline. Besonen then threw it downcourt to Brown, who caught the perfect pass away from any defenders to run the clock out.
The Panthers play Forest Park in Friday's district final at 8 p.m. EST in Bessemer.
After Bessemer completely erased a 22-14 halftime deficit, E-TC didn't lead by more than three points for almost the rest of the way.
Gordon did not score, though Mike Borseth led the Panthers (17-4)?with 14 points.