Holly’s varsity boys basketball team looked ready to suffer a defeat Friday night.
The Bronchos trailed 51-38 with 4:40 to go. That’s about the time opposing fans start cheering “warm up the bus” to the visiting team facing that deficit.
However, the Bronchos made an improbable comeback. Holly outscored Flushing 19-4 the rest of the way and earned a thrilling 57-55 come-from-behind-victory.
“It was a great game,” Holly varsity boys basketball coach Steve Dehart said. “It was really exciting. It was a very good win for the team. Going in there, they were 3-2 and we were 2-3, so both of us are 3-3 this season. Obviously, I like to be 4-2 or 5-1 even, but I think we’re playing better. Things are making more sense to the kids of how we want to play. … It was definitely a big win for us. They showed a lot of heart and played hard all night.”
Holly trailed 14-10 after one quarter, and the deficit gradually grew as the game continued. Holly trailed 26-18 at halftime and was losing 40-30 after three quarters. The deficit grew to as many as 31-35 before the squad started making its comeback. The fourth quarter had three Holly shooters combine for five three-pointers in the final period. Hunter Jackson had two while Jacob Welch, Ray Ortiz and Daniel Mathews had one each.
“We put some pressure on them, made a couple of steals, forced some turnovers and forced them to the ball out of bounds,” Dehart said. “We were pressuring the ball defensively and were patient offensively.
Holly still trailed 51-48 with about a minute to go. Welch hit his three-pointer to tie the game. Following a missed shot by the Raiders, Mathews gave Holly its first lead of the game at 53-51 with a hoop. Flushing cut the gap to one with a converted free throw, but Welch hit another hoop, extending the lead to 55-52. With six seconds left, Gramer hit two free throws, raising the lead to 57-52, and Holly was able to hold on from there. Flushing did cut the gap with a three-pointer with one second left in the game.
Mathews and Jackson led the Bronchos with 15 points each. Welch and Ryan Ortiz had nine points while Ben Gramer had five points. Spencer Wellman led Flushing and all scorers with 19 points.
The Bronchos travel to Lake Fenton on Tuesday.