CHARLESTON, Tenn. – Ben Snider’s return to the Ooltewah lineup paid off handsomely Tuesday night at Walker Valley.
Snider made a free throw with about less than 10 seconds left gave the Owls a 67-66 overtime victory over the Mustangs.
Snider, a junior who has been sidelined by a broken hand, finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Owls (14-5, 8-1) held on to first place in District 5-AAA with a showdown with second-place Bradley Central coming up Friday night in Cleveland.
“We had to have (Ben’s) energy and production to get a very tough win in a tough environment,” Owls coach Jesse Nayadley said.
Ooltewah was coming off their only district loss of the season, a 61-56, on Friday.
Two other Owls were in double figures – Jacqueze Robinson scored 17 points and Antonio Jackson added 14. Andrew Ware had five points and 12 rebounds.
The Owls led the Mustangs until Caio Hysinger tied the game and Ooltewah missed two shots to end regulation play.
Walker Valley had a one-point lead with 13.2 seconds left in the overtime period.
Jackson was fouled and hit his first free throw only to miss the second. However, Snider was there for the rebound and was quickly fouled.
Snider missed the first attempt, but hit the second.
On the other end, Hysinger’s 8-foot shot rimmed out and Ware got the rebound as the final buzzer sounded.
Hysinger finished with a game-high 19 points. Austin Harwood scored 17 points, Tucker Godfrey 11 and Lukas Korn 10.
Ooltewah 15 14 23 7 7 – 67
Walker Valley 18 16 12 14 6 – 66
Ooltewah (67) – Jacqueze Robinson 17, Antonio Jackson 14, Ben Snider 16, Ware 5, Maston 5, Presley 3, Fritz 1, Bass 6.
Walker Valley (66) – Caio Hysinger 19, Austin Harwood 17, Tucker Godfrey 11, Lukas Korn 10, Swafford 6, Brownfield 3, Anthony, Cartwright.
(E-mail Larry Fleming at email@example.com)