TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Central’s boys basketball team has practice on Tuesday.
Early in Monday’s Class A district tournament opener against Petoskey, Central head coach Jeff Turner figured he would be collecting jerseys instead.
The Trojans overcame an inauspicious start where they trailed 14-0 just minutes into the contest and 24-10 late in the first half by storming back to shock the Northmen 50-49 at Central High School.
“With the season we’ve had, and the way (the game) started, it sure didn’t look promising,” said Turner. “That’s a tribute to our kids and their work ethic. That was a gutty performance. They easily could’ve thrown in the towel and said, ‘this is it. It was a good ride.’ But they fought, they scratched and they clawed. It’s nice to be able to get a win. It’s nice to be able to go to practice tomorrow.”
The game didn’t appear at the outset like it would go right down to the wire, but it did as Petoskey missed two shots in the last four seconds that would’ve put it in the lead. The first shot, on a drive to the bucket by Petoskey’s Evan Whitmore, was blocked out of bounds by Central sophomore Jackson Schrameyer. The second shot, off an inbounds play under the basket with just over a second left, missed the rim and backboard entirely.
“With four seconds left the only thing I was thinking was get the ball,” said Schrameyer. “He just missed (the second shot). It was an air ball. I got lucky on that one.”
Central had gone ahead on two Austin Podsaid free throws with 11.9 seconds to go, which he calmly buried despite the enormous pressure of the moment.
“Every single practice we shoot hundreds of free throws,” said Podsaid. “I’m just used to shooting them and I had confidence and sunk them both. Before I started shooting them I kind of felt it (pressure), but once I started shooting I kind of blocked it all out.”