JOHNSTOWN - With just under a minute remaining and his team trailing Northville in Saturday's Western Athletic Conference crossover game, Sharon Springs coach Chris Smith signaled for a time out to talk to his team.
When the teams returned to the floor, Northville dropped back into a zone defense under their basket. The Spartans' Tyler Bianchine received the inbounds pass but instead of dribbling up court, turned and laid the ball off the backboard and into the Falcons' basket. Smith immediately called another time out and instructed the scorekeepers to give credit for the basket to the Falcons' Tim Monette, who has been battling cancer and was absent from the game to receive treatment.
When play resumed, Northville was the winner on the scoreboard, 54-29.
Northville's Dylan Moore (22) drives to the hoop against Sharon Springs' Matt Jankowski as Dustin Tripp (24) looks on during a Western Athletic Conference crossover game Saturday at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
"You can't say much more," Northville coach John Karbowski III said. "We have seen a lot of support all season, but to do something like that, especially with the way the game went, when you are down and having trouble scoring, to do something like that for another student-athlete is absolutely amazing. I thanked coach Smith and the players. For their team do something like that says a lot about their program and their school."
Playing in their final regular-season game Northville jumped out to a 15-0 lead behind seven points from Danny Reidell, four from Nick Jonas and two from Kalob Russell.
Dustin Tripp put Sharon Springs' first points on the board when he intercepted a pass and drove to the hoop for the lay up with two minutes left in the opening quarter.
Jonas, Reidell and Devin Holmes all scored for Northville and Tripp added a 3-pointer for the Spartans to put the score at 20-5 at the end of the first quarter.
Reidell continue to get open looks for the Falcons and connected for six more points in the second period, while Nate Edwards added six to help Northville carry a 35-11 lead into the locker room at the half.
Karbowski worked with his line up in the second half, as the Falcons maintained their advantage over the Spartans to build a 46-15 edge heading into the final period.
Sharon Springs won the final quarter, scoring 14 points for themselves and two for the Falcons' Monette, to close out the game.
Greg Ouellette led Sharon Springs with 11 points, while Tripp finished with 9.
Reidell ended the night with 18 points for Northville, while Jonas chipped in with 11 and Russell added eight.
"We wanted to come out with some intensity and get some momentum going into sectionals," Karbowski said. "That was our goal tonight. We did that. We got ahead early and used that to work on some things that we have needed to work on all season. We got some kids in who have been on the team all year working hard, and deserved some playing time, so it was a good team effort tonight. We worked unselfishly as a team today and found the open guy."
The Falcons finished the regular season with a 7-11 overall record and 5-9 in the Western Athletic Conference. They will enter the Section II Class D postseason tournament and will find out their opening round opponent Wednesday.
Northville 54, Sharon Springs 29
Northville20 15 11 8 - 54
Sharon Springs5 6 4 14 - 29
Wilson 1-0-3, Russell 4-0-8, Jonas 5-0-11, Reidell 8-0-18, Edwards 2-2-6, Holmes 1-0-2, Moore 0-1-1, Coupas 0-1-1, Monette 1-0-2, King 1-0-2. Totals: 23-4-54.
Handy 2-0-4, Bianchine 1-0-3, Tripp 3-2-9, Jankowski 1-0-2, Ouellette 5-1-11. Totals: 12-3-29.
3-point goals: Northville 4 (Reidell 2, Jonas, Wilson); Sharon Springs 2 (Bianchine, Tripp).