Dayton, Ohio — After a tough couple of weeks, Stivers looked to stay alive in the Dayton City League race as Thurgood Marshall looked to close out the outright title with wins over Ponitz and Stivers this week.
Stivers guard Allen Lattimore got the scoring started with a three, then Stivers senior Dajuan Allen went coast to coast before converting on an and-one. Belmont four-star and 6’10” forward Shawn Phillips went to work on the offensive glass pulling down a ‘board and getting an easy putback. Phillips got another putback layup and Lattimore drilled another three. Latrell Estes added an and-one and Antaune Allen got a monster putback dunk to end the 1st quarter but Stivers still led 16-9.
Belmont went on a run to open up the second quarter but Allen Lattimore put the Tigers back up by 9 with a pair of threes. Randy Latham and Antaune Allen both got contested layups to find the bottom of the net. Both teams traded buckets the rest of the half as Stivers led 28-19 heading into halftime.
The third quarter went about the same as the rest of the game. Dajuan Allen shot the ball very well and at times it looked like Stivers was going to run away with this game but Randy Latham and Antaune Allen kept Belmont in it with some big and-ones and threes towards the end of the 3rd quarter. An Antaune Allen three at the buzzer cut Stivers’ lead down to 48-40.
The 4th quarter stayed at the same back and forth pace the rest of the game had been played and it appeared Belmont wasn’t going to have enough time to pull of a comeback. But, with 2:30 remaining Latrell Estes got an and-one which brought the Bisons within 6. Then Belmont converted on another and-one which brought them within 3. Dajuan Allen hit another fadeaway jumper to make the score 64-59. Then Latrell Estes got another and-one with 49 seconds left to cut the deficit down to 2. Down 68-64 with 22.3 seconds left, Antaune Allen kicked it out to another guard who nailed a jumper to make it a one-possession game. Stivers led 68-66 and was inbounding with 11 seconds left. Antaune Allen was able to tip the inbound pass but missed the layup to tie. Lattimore pulled down the rebound but was then forced out of bounds by his teammate. That gave Belmont the basketball under their hoop with 4.1 seconds left. Belmont gave the ball to Harry Fisher who then made the play of his life and converted on an and-one to tie the game. With only 1.4 seconds remaining, Fisher made the free throw to give Belmont the lead. Stivers’ full-court heave was off the mark and Belmont comes out with the 69-68 win off of some last-second heroics.
This loss for Stivers gives Thurgood Marshall the outright City League title. Both teams have one league game remianing and Stivers will face Thurgood on Friday and Belmotn will play Ponitz on Friday.