Late in the third quarter, Novi pushed its lead to double digits in its Regional final with undefeated Skyline on Wednesday at Salem High School. The Eagles responded with three triples in the final 2 minutes to pull within three points with one quarter to play.
It was game on and the packed house in Canton was ready for a classic finish between two outstanding basketball teams. They wouldn’t be disappointed as far as drama goes as the game wasn’t decided until the clock hit zero.
Ryan Wade’s mid-court shot in the final seconds was off the mark and the Novi Wildcats escaped a comeback that came all the way back to tie the game but just fell short as Novi ended Skyline’s perfect season with a 61-59 victory.
Novi improves to 16-8 and will face Belleville in a state-quarterfinal game next week.
Skyline’s incredible season, which included a District and SEC Red title, ends at 23-1.
Brandon Wade led the Eagles with 19 points. Junior Ryan Wade had 16 points, including 11 in the second half. Junior DeSean Munson and senior Jack Ammerman each scored 11 points for the Eagles.
OUR TAKE ON SKYLINE’S INCREDIBLE SEASON: https://weloveannarbor.com/2018/03/15/opinion-eagles-will-quickly-gain-perspective-on-what-they-accomplished-this-season/
With 2 minutes to play, Ryan Wade had a three-point attempt along the wing to tie the game, but Novi’s Jiovanni Miles reached to the rafters and blocked the shot as the Wildcats clung to a 59-56 lead.
A travelling call, thanks to some aggressive defense, gave the ball back to the Eagles. And with 1:10 left to play, Brandon Wade knocked down a three-pointer to tie the game at 59-59.
But Traveon Maddox Jr. drove down the right side and threw up a floater that banked high off the glass and somehow through the basket to give the Wildcats the 61-59 lead with 2.8 seconds to play. Skyline took the ball out of bounds under its own basket and was able to get the ball to Ryan Wade. But the junior had a tough running shot to make and it wasn’t meant to be.
SEE VIDEO OF THE FINAL SECONDS: https://weloveannarbor.com/2018/03/14/video-the-final-seconds-of-skylines-loss-to-novi-in-regional-final/
Earlier in the quarter, Munson’s free throw made it a two-point game at 51-49 with 5:40 left. But a layup by Tariq Woody and another layup by Miles gave the Wildcats a 57-49 lead with 4:46 left in the game.
But the Eagles were not just going to fly away into the night.
Munson and Brandon Wade both scored inside and then a steal and layup by Ryan Wade brought Skyline to within 57-55 with 3 minutes left in the game. Novi scored inside to make it 59-55.
A free throw by Ryan Wade made it 59-56 before his brother tied the game at 59-59.
The excitement dial was ramped up in the third quarter.
Woody converted a three-point play to give the Wildcats a 41-33 lead. Miles scored inside to push the lead to double-digits at 43-33. Munson answered inside for Skyline but the Wildcats scored at the other end to make it 45-35.
With 2 minutes left in the third, Ryan Wade hit a long triple to pull Skyline to within 45-38. Brandon Wade’s triple with 1:20 left made it 47-41. The comeback was on.
Ryan Wade then nailed another triple to make it 47-44.
The game started off with the two teams sizing each other up.
A triple by Ammerman gave the Eagles a 5-2 lead early in the ballgame. Brandon Wade followed with another triple to push the Skyline lead to 10-5 with 4:05 left in the opening quarter.
Munson scored inside as the Eagles ended the first quarter with a 12-9 lead.
The Wildcats came out firing in the second quarter and took the lead early before Brandon Wade tied it up at 15-15. After another Novi basket, Ammerman tied the game at 17-17 with a jumper.
A triple by Novi’s Traveon Maddox Jr. gave the Wildcats a 24-19 lead.
Ammerman nailed another triple to pull Skyline to within 24-22.
With 2:40 left in the half, Novi’s Tariq Woody scored inside to give the Wildcats a 29-22 lead. Ammerman answered with another long ball to cut the deficit to 29-25.
Novi led 32-25 at the break.