Two-year old Windermere HS came calling to established Central Florida power Orlando Edgewater Wednesday night with a lot on the line. At stake was the #1 seed in the Class 8A-District 5 tournament to be held at Windermere beginning February 11th. Also, these are two of the best Class 8A teams in the state. Maybe most important, bragging rights were on the line. We have had this game circled on our calendar since the schedules came out and expected a fierce game. We got a whole lot more than we bargained for!
After the first three minutes of play, it looked like Windermere would run away with the game. The Wolverines scored the first thirteen points of the contest as Josh Colon covered a three point play on the opening tip then knocked down a three on the next possession; Carter Zavada scored in transition, Dakota Rivers hit mid-range jumper and Dante Love knocked down a three. Down 13-0 at the five minute mark, the Eagles finally called timeout. Edgewater didn’t score until Dequarious Boles hit one of two free throws at the 4:10 mark. From there, the Eagles got their act together to close within ten at 17-7 after one quarter of play.
Edgewater continued to make progress in the second period on chipping away at the Windermere lead. The lead was nine at 24-15 with three minutes left in the half. However, within the next minute, Edgewater got to within six at 26-20, forcing a Wolverine timeout. Edgewater scored again to get within four but a three point play from Rivers of Windermere pushed their lead back to seven at 29-22 with under a minute to go in the period. The Eagles sank a shot before the buzzer to get within 29-24 at the half.
Edgewater tied the game at thirty-two at the five minute mark, forcing another Wolverine timeout. However, Edgewater was now energized after coming back from an early “punch-in-the-mouth”. They proceeded to go on an 11-0 run over the next three minutes, forcing Windermere to use two more timeouts in the process. The Wolverines were finally able to get back on track and play evenly with Edgewater but after three quarters of play, the score was 47-36 in favor of the homestanding Eagles.
Edgewater led by as much as fourteen at 54-40 with 5:14 left to play. Their led was still in double-digits at 57-45 at the three minute mark. At that point, Windermere made a run, scoring seven straight points to get to within five at 57-52 with two minutes to play. Edgewater still had a two possession lead at 59-55 when Rivers drove the baseline and hammered one home to draw within two with fifty seconds left in the contest. Windermere didn’t foul right away, hoping that its defense would hold. It worked, as Edgewater committed a turnover with eighteen seconds left. Windermere got the ball inside to Rivers who scored with five seconds left to tie the game at fifty-nine. Edgewater was unable to get a good look and we headed to overtime.
Tre Moss of Windemere hit a three to open the extra session and after Rivers scored inside, Windermere looked in control, up 64-59 at the 2:45 mark. Edgewater replied with a 9-0 run and looked to have things going their way with the score 68-64 with just twenty seconds left. However, Moss was fouled shooting a three with twelve seconds left and he converted each foul shot, bringing the Wolverines to within one. Windermere had to foul quickly, and sent the Eagles’ Navuan Peterson to the line. He calmly sank both. Windermere needed a three to tie and got just that; an off-balance prayer from Colon was answered just before the horn, and the game headed into a second overtime tied at seventy.
As in the first overtime, Windermere scored first. This time a driving layup from Moss. Edgewater answered quickly with a basket inside from Trevon Cason and a driving score from Shakur Poteat. Rivers converted a three point play for the Wolverines to give them back the lead at 75-74 with 1:21 to play. Cason then stroked a three for the Eagles, giving them back the lead. Elliott York of Windemere came through to tie the game with a mid-range jumper. Cason scored on a drive for Edgewater with thirty seconds left but once again Yorke stepped up, putting back a teammate’s miss with ten seconds to play to tie the game at seventy-nine. Edgewater’s last second attempt at the win was off the mark, so the game headed into a third overtime!
For the third straight time, Windermere scored the first basket in OT, this one a three from Colon. But this time things were different. Edgewater peeled off eight straight points as drive from Lorenzon Jones, and a three from Peterson and another from Lloyd Matthew gave Edgewater an 87-82 lead with 1:20 to play. Now in the bonus and with a two possession lead, Edgewater could work some clock. On two occasions, Windermere would get to within three but each time the Eagles answered from the foul line. Ultimately, time would run out and Edgewater won a triple overtime thriller by the score of 95-89.
Edgewater was led by Cason with 25 points while Poteat had 21, Boles finished with 13, Peterson added 12 and Matthew tallied 11 points.
For Windermere, Rivers and Love each scored 18 points while Yorke finished with 10 points.