Boys basketball: Kouts gets Keg after Cody Nelson’s buzzer-beater
By KEVIN O’KEEFE Post-Tribune correspondent February 15, 2013 9:44PM
Kouts' Cody Nelson is swarmed after hitting the game winner as time expired against Hanover Central at Kouts High School Friday night. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 17, 2013 6:48PM
KOUTS — Hanover Central made the trip to Kouts with something the Mustangs wanted back — the PCC Keg.
A buzzer-beater layup by Cody Nelson gave the Mustangs a 43-41 win and kept them unbeaten in the Porter County Conference at 6-0. It was the Wildcats’ first PCC loss, dropping them to 6-1.
Nelson, who was held scoreless in the first half had all of his team-high 11 points in the second half, but none bigger than the last two.
“When I looked at Max (Everaert), I saw that he was double-teamed, so I looked for Matt (Stewart),” Nelson said. “When I saw 2 seconds left on the clock, I just wanted to get as close to the basket as I could. The only time I hit a buzzer-beater was in 3 on 3 so this really means a lot to win it for coach (Marty Gaff).”
Gaff, who is retiring after this season, had high praise for his team.
“We finally got the lead when we wanted it,” Gaff said.
The only other lead the Mustangs had was 3-2.
“That was a big 3 by Max (Everaert),” Gaff said. “He’s our scorer and he doesn’t stop looking for his shot. You have to give Hanover credit, both teams battled all night.”
Speaking of Everaert, the Mustangs’ leading scorer, who came into the contest averaging 19.2 points per game, struggled for most of the night and ended up with 10 points. But the second-biggest shot of the contest was his 3-pointer with 2:45 left in the game to tie the score at 41. He was held to seven points up until then and was 1-for-7 from the foul line.
“I’ve struggled from the free-throw line for a couple of weeks now,” said Everaert. “My guy played great defense on me all night and on that shot, he just lost me on the wing. I just let it fly and I said, ‘God, please let me hit a shot’ and it went in.”
After taking a 22-14 halftime lead, the Wildcats built an 11 -point lead twice early in the third quarter but just could never pull away from the Mustangs. Max Johnson led all scorers with 18 points and Dan Kubiak had all of his nine points in the first half.
“We knew coming over here that their crowd was going to be loud,” Wildcats coach Byron Clouse said. “I sure wish our crowd would cheer as loud as they (Kouts) do. Our guys fought their tails off but our mental lapses in the fourth quarter cost us the conference.”