There’s a lot to cover in a high school basketball game that has a final score of 118-115, so here goes:
- Glendale and Hillcrest combined for the most points ever in a Springfield Public Schools game. Glendale, the victorious team in a game that stubbornly refused to end, also set the record for most single-game points (118) by any SPS team.
- The previous single-game points record for an SPS team was set by Hillcrest (114) in 1971. The Falcons and Hornets also easily surpassed the previous SPS combined points record of 206, set by Glendale and Norman North (Okla.) earlier this season.
- The Hornets fought back from the brink of defeat multiple times, including a 10-point deficit with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and a seven-point deficit with 1:30 remaining in overtime. The Hornets had a chance to tie the game on their final possession of overtime.
- It was a night where star players shined as Hillcrest got 37 points from super sophomore Tyem Freeman, while Glendale got 34 points from Jordan Walton and 29 points from Monty Johal.
- Free throws and fouls were a big factor. Glendale made 41 of 46 free throw attempts, while Hillcrest made 25 of its 32 attempts. Hillcrest had four players foul out and Glendale had two players foul out. Six total players finished the game with four fouls.
- The outcome snapped a 10-game winning streak for Hillcrest, which suffered its first loss in about seven weeks (Dec. 6 at Bolivar).
“That was two teams that made a lot of clutch plays when they had to make them, to keep the game going,” said Glendale coach Brian McTague. “The ebb and flow of that game was… a roller coaster.
“I don’t know if it was a fun game to be a part of, but it was definitely intense. I told the kids, ‘It was definitely a playoff-, district-, sectional-type atmosphere and type of intensity.”
Glendale (14-5 overall) built an early lead in the overtime session, highlighted by a 3-pointer from freshman reserve Winston Quinn, who was forced into extended playing time due to Glendale’s foul problems.
Hillcrest never went away. A 3-pointer by Cole Pryor with 1:31 remaining cut Glendale’s lead to 110-106. Later, a Freeman 3-pointer brought the Hornets to within 114-111.
Pryor scored again to make it 117-115 with under 30 seconds remaining, and after a Glendale split a pair of free throws, the Hornets had a chance to tie the game on their final possession. A 3-pointer failed to draw iron, time expired, and Glendale’s bench poured on to the court in celebration.
“There were three or four times where I thought, ‘Ok, we’re in control of this thing,” McTague said. “Then, (Hillcrest’s) kids made big shot after big shot. They scrapped and fought.”
Glendale only made two field goals in overtime but scored 19 points thanks to a 14-for-16 effort at the free throw line. Johal was 8-for-8 at the line in overtime and 12-for-13 overall.
Freeman scored 37, was 9-for-11 at the free throw line, made four 3-pointers and had two thunderous dunks.
“Tyem is special,” Walton said. “I’ve known him since he was like 8 years old. Just seeing the player he’s grown up to be is insane. He’s really good.”
Juniors Cole Pryor and Tim Washington added 25 points apiece for Hillcrest, which fell to 11-4 overall.
Scoring was ample throughout the night, but Glendale had managed to string together enough stops in the fourth quarter to turn a 69-all tie into a 10-point lead with about 4:30 remaining.
That’s when Hillcrest made its run, sparked by an alley-oop dunk from Shahn Clark to Freeman that fired up the Hornets.
Hillcrest, which also benefited from Walton fouling out during its run, went into a frantic full-court, trapping press and slowly chipped away at the lead. A Washington putback brought Hillcrest within 98-97 with 45 seconds left.
After Glendale split a pair of free throws, Freeman got into the lane and got a short, contested jumper to fall. Glendale missed an open 3-pointer on its next possession before time expired.
Walton had to watch Hillcrest’s late fourth-quarter rally and all of overtime from the bench.
He said the Falcons have become battle-tested over the course of this season.
“I can’t explain how proud I am of my team,” Walton said. “We’ve grown so much. You put us in that situation at the beginning of the season, we’re losing that game I feel like.”
Jaxon Davis made six 3-pointers and finished with 21 points for Glendale. As a team, the Falcons made 13 3-pointers.
Hillcrest 22 25 22 30 16 —- 115
Glendale 26 22 21 30 19 — 118
Hillcrest – Tyem Freeman 37, Tim Washington 25, Cole Pryor 25, Shahn Clark 9, Malik Starks 6, Josh Powell 5, Brendan Weaver 5, Sam Terry 3
Glendale – Jordan Walton 34, Monty Johal 29, Jaxon Davis 21, Garrett Freeman 14, Winston Quinn 9, Josh Call 6, Dylan Metivier 5
Glendale B 99, Hillcrest B 73