Edison jumped out to an early 21-11 lead late in the first quarter, but Clovis West would rally to tie it at 27 at halftime. In the second half, the offense came to life for both squads, but in the end, it was defense, rebounding, and free throws that help seal the victory for the Tigers.
With just 13.7 seconds remaining in the game, Edison took a critical two-point lead. The Eagles would get one last opportunity to tie it or win the game. But thanks to solid defense and Nat Harrison’s rebound with just under two seconds to play, the Eagles season ended abruptly.
After grabbing the rebound, Harrison protected the ball until the buzzer sounded. But a foul was called just before time expired as the refs put .8 seconds back on the clock and Harrison on the line to shoot two.
“I grab all rebounds,” Harrison said of his huge rebound after Clovis West missed a three to win the game. “I practice on my free throws everyday just for that situation.”
How confident was he in his ability to seal the game from the free-throw line?
“100%, 200%, it was automatic,” proclaimed Harrison. “I knew I was going to make them.”
After ending a disappointing season on the gridiron, where Edison did not even win its league title, Harrison has a positive aspect on basketball.
“Valley is ours,” Harrison said of the Tigers chances of winning the Central Section D1 Valley title. “I have been feeling like it since football season was over. That’s all I come out here for is to win.”
Nevertheless, Harrison’s football career is far from over as he signed with Fresno State early this month to play under head coach Pat Hill. But like Friday night was, any game from this point on can be his final one as a Tiger.
“I’m loving it,” Harrison exclaimed after extending his season by at least one more game. “I know I’m not going to get anymore basketball games, so I got to get as many as I can now.”
Edison will face No. 9 seed Buchanan next week. The Bears upset top seeded Clovis East on Friday night.
Fellow future Bulldog Greg Smith attended Friday night’s game to watch his old school play. The Phoenix (AZ) Westwind Academy standout is in town for his official visit to Fresno State.
He talked with BB.C briefly following Friday night’s game – Listen to Audio.
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