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Numerous times this season, Williamstown High School boys' basketball coach Stacey May had preached to his team the importance of playing until the final buzzer had sounded, regardless of the score.
On Jan. 15, the Demons (2-12) heeded the message, rallying back from a 14-point deficit to post a 44-43 victory over Lloyd Memorial. The win erased a three-game losing streak and doubled the total win output from last season, something that was not lost on the mind of senior forward Patrick Gatewood.
"Now we can say it can't get any worse. A lot of people doubted Stacey, and now we are trying to make a name for ourselves. We are playing our best basketball right now," Gatewood said.
May said the win was the result of his team's attitude.
"We grew up a little bit. The Grant County game gave us some confidence, and everything that I have been preaching paid off. We learned a valuable lesson that the game is never over, and we are starting to become mentally tough. I am proud of the kids for not throwing in the towel, and we are starting to play better basketball as a team," May said.
Utilizing a 16-3 run in the third quarter, Lloyd held onto a 14-point lead, but Williamstown switched its defense from man-to-man to a zone and the move paid off as not only did it stymie the Juggernauts, it sparked Williamstown's offense, as the Demons scored the final 14 points of the game.
"With 25 seconds left, I called a time-out to set up a play for Michael Walter. We told him if the defense collapsed on him to kick it out, and he executed the play perfectly," May said.
With just over eight seconds remaining, Walter drove into the lane from the wing only to pass the ball to Patrick Spoonamore, who pump faked a shot and then drilled an eight foot shot. In the fourth quarter, Spoonamore scored 10 of his 13 points.
"We played as a team and give the credit to Michael Walter for the win. He could've taken the shot but he made the pass instead and all I was thinking from that point on was I had to score. We had something to prove, and it's great to get the win," Spoonamore said.