By Noah Ricks
WARREN, OH – It was a district semifinal to remember at Warren Harding High School between South Range and Brookfield. In a game where neither team led by more than four, it would take a tip-in off of a missed free throw by Landon Moore as the buzzer sounded. That was enough to lift the South Range Raiders to a 45-44 upset win over the Brookfield Warriors.
The first quarter set the tone for how the game would turn out: back-and-forth with tough defense. It was only tied up at 7-7 after one, but Brookfield would gain a slight edge over the Raiders to close out the first half, heading into the locker room only up by two at 17-15. The Warriors were led in that first half by 6’5’’ senior Isaiah Jones, who would pick up 12 of the team’s 17 points in the first sixteen minutes. Jones, alongside teammate Donovan Pawlowski, would lead all scorers with 18.
South Range would have short stretches of consecutive points throughout the second half, as key rebounds by Ayden Leon and two crucial threes by Luke Rohan helped lead the Raider charge. They would find a way to contain Jones, holding him to just six second-half points. This well-balanced attack would help set up the final stretch of the game.
Down two, the Raiders were trying to get a potential game-winning shot up, but were fouled by Brookfield with 1.4 seconds to spare. Nate Lewis was sent to the foul line and hit the first one to pull it within one. After a timeout was called, Lewis’ second shot bounced off the rim, but Landon Moore was right there to pick it up and put it back in at the buzzer, sending the South Range fans into a frenzy.
South Range (15-9) has now won 14 of 17 and will now have their toughest challenge against a high-scoring Lutheran East team in the district championship. That will be on Friday at Harding, with tip-off being at 7:00. Brookfield’s season comes to a close at 18-6.
YSN’s Noah Ricks got a chance to talk with South Range coach TJ Irons following the upset win. The full interview can be watched below.
*Contributed By YSN’s Noah Ricks