Martin dropped a one point 47-46 decision to visiting Holland Calvary Monday in a game that had shades of the Dallas Cowboys’ victory over the Detroit Lions.
With 10.4 seconds left to play, the nearest official awarded an out of bounds ball to Martin, giving the Clippers possession at their own end of the floor down by a point. But another official, off the ball, ran in to override the near official’s decision and called a foul on a Martin player.
So instead of getting the ball under its own basket, Martin had to march to the other end of the court and watch Crusader guard Caleb Kwantes shoot a one and one free throw. Kwantes missed his free throw try and Martin grabbed the rebound but was forced to run the full length of the floor and throw up a desperation shot. It failed to fall and the Clippers ran out of time and luck.
To be fair, that one play did not define the game. A more appropriate place to lay the blame was the Clippers’ inability to hit their own free throws. Martin hit only nine of 18 for the contest.
“We usually are a good free throw shooting team,” said Clipper coach David Curry. “That was frustrating. We had our chances, but we just did not capitalize.”
Leading 44-39 with just under five minutes to play, Martin went to its four-corner offense and tried to run down the clock. They did a credible job, forcing Holland to foul, but the Clippers could not take advantage with the resultant free throws.
The game itself started out like a runaway for the Crusaders, as they built up a 16-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. Martin started extremely slow, unable to put the ball through the hoop. Holland, in fact, scored the first 11 points of the game before Brandon Buell finally put the Clippers one the board with three minutes left in the period.
But in the second quarter, Martin stormed back. Garrett Dill started the period with a three-point basket and Andrew Keyzer followed with a deuce. Martin chipped away and tied the score at 22 with a three-point basket by Dill with 2:27 left in the first half.
They two teams traded baskets before Jacob Conklin hit a short jumper with two seconds left to give Holland a 26-25 lead going into the locker room.
Martin scored the first 13 points of the third quarter to take a 38-26 lead with three and a half minutes to play in the period and led by 10, 44-34, going into the final eight minutes.
But the Clippers wend cold again, allowing Holland to stay close. With the score 46-42 and 2:27 left to play Martin was well into its stall. Josh Wedeven hit a basket at the 47.5 mark left to play to make it 46-44 and set the stage for a three pointer by Conklin with just 27 seconds left on the clock. That proved to be the game winner.
“We have to learn from this,” Curry said, “and use it to grow as a team.”
Dill led all scorers with 23 points and Tanner Curry added 14 for Martin. Holland was led by Steve Dogger and Caleb Kwantes with 12 each.
With the loss, Martin’s record fell to 2-5. Holland Calvary is now 6-0.
Martin’s next game will be at Bloomingdale on Friday.