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February 16, 2014

Caston boys beat North White on last-second shot

Pioneer wins at West Central; Cass routs Wabash.

Caston’s boys basketball team ran the “Valpo play” to perfection at the end of the game to defeat North White 47-44 Saturday afternoon in Fulton.

The play was made famous by Bryce Drew’s shot that catapulted Valparaiso to a Sweet 16 run in 1998.

The Comets and the Vikings were tied at 44-all with 2.8 seconds left. Alex Howdeshell threw the inbounds pass to Brayton Jellison. Two defenders ran to Quentin Douglass, and Jellison found Dustin Offenberger open near the volleyball line. Offenberger’s shot was pure from 30 feet and the Comets were able to celebrate the big win.

“I don’t know how Brayton saw that Dustin was open,” Caston coach J.R. Howell said. “As soon as it left his hands you could tell it was good.”

It was Offenberger’s second game winner in as many games. The junior guard hit a 16-footer that lifted the Comets past Maconaquah on Thursday.

“It’s ironic that we haven’t gone over situations until Tuesday this week: being down three with 20 seconds left, down two with 20 seconds left,” Howell said. “Both games this week came down to end-of-game situations. In practice we weren’t close on any of them.”

The Comets stormed back from an 11-point deficit in the final four minutes. They had a hot start to the game, jumping out to a quick 12-4 lead, before going cold until the final stretch of the game.

“We gutted it out,” Howell said.

Jellison led the Comets with 16 points. Offenberger finished with 11, eight in the fourth quarter after battling foul trouble the entire game. He made 1 of 2 free throws to tie it late in the final minute.

Quentin Douglass had seven points, Eli Douglass scored six and Howdeshell added four.

Caston (11-7, 4-1 Midwest Conference) remained in the hunt for the conference title and improved to 10-1 at home, where the sectional happens to be this year. North White dropped to 8-8 and 2-4 in the MWC.

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