Going the extra mile is one thing.
Going mile after mile after mile, however, is entirely another.
Ultimately and fortunately, the added trip time wound up being one worth taking for Lake Norman’s boys basketball team.
The host Wildcats extended matters beyond regulation play and through not just one nor two but into a third overtime period as well before hanging on to squeeze out a triple-OT, 69-68 triumph over visiting I-Meck Conference member West Charlotte.
Prevailing via dramatic fashion in what was the equivalent of playing one full additional fifth quarter and half of a sixth allowed Lake Norman to polish off the season’s home-and-home series sweep over the I-Meck rival entry Lions to also accomplish that feat for the first of as many as four times against possible opposite league foes.
In the process, the Wildcats improved to the 5-3 level within the critical conference clout-carrying category that continues to account for the most weight in regard to any and all possible potential postseason positioning as part of an overall 12-6 slate they carried with them back into this week’s full schedule of play.
With the outcome literally hanging in the balance, Lake Norman junior guard Cam Kepley calmly connected on a pair of free throws with the Wildcats trailing by a point at the time late in the course of the third and final overtime to account for what wound up being the winning point to at long last carry the home team to the win. Kepley used the last two of his clutch one-point shots to also secure a two-way share of both the winning team’s as well as the overall game’s high-scoring honors by finishing with 21 points.
Also for the victors, junior forward Seth Aeschliman posted a personal double-double with his netting of 21 points to tag-team alongside his 10 rebounds. Additionally for the narrowly escaping hosts, senior perimeter presence Jack Edmonson reached double-digits with his 10-point total. Junior guard Clay Hodges dished out a team-best seven assists while also accounting for five steals.
It took some doing on Lake Norman’s part just to keep their bid for a win alive. The hosts pieced together a come-from-behind, 21-10 charge over the course of fourth-period play to forge a 54-all tie at the conclusion of regulation play.
Each team then evenly matched one another with respective outputs of four and then seven points during the first and second four-minute overtime periods serving to keep the contest in a draw. Lake Norman’s Kepley then drained the last two free throws of the game in the third and final of a low-scoring third OT period on the part of both teams to account for the final winning spread.
Buoyed by the charity stripe offerings, the hosts edged out a 4-3 cushion in the third extra period to account for the winning difference.
By far the longest of all games played on the part of Lake Norman all season, it was also the second of the Wildcats’ contests all season long to be stretched beyond regulation play. With the win, the team squared its record at the 1-1 mark in such extended-play affairs.
The Wildcats headed back into play Tuesday on the road against I-Meck entry Mallard Creek. They remain on the road to face off against Hough High Friday night in what also amounts to the last multi-game consecutive road trip appearing on Lake Norman’s regular-season schedule.