PORTSMOUTH — In a 32 minute back-and-fourth affair, the Titans and Hornets appeared destined for overtime. However, Hattachai Buttayotee had other plans.
After a missed opportunity by Coal Grove, Buttayotee received a Trevin Turner pass and broke the deadlock with his game-high 19th point of the night in the final seconds to give Notre Dame the 51-49 victory.
“We were pushing in transition and Trevin found (Buttayotee) down on the baseline — and he works extremely hard, he works hard in the weight room and to see him come this far — and he has a beautiful shot, he’s got confidence and he made it with confidence, along with a lot of other shots that he made,” Titans head coach Matt Mader said.
To go along with Buttayotee’s 19, Turner added 18 points for Notre Dame (7-2, 2-1), who overcame a 10-point third quarter deficit.
“You want your best players making plays and guys that want the basketball in crunch time,” Mader said. “They made big plays all over the floor in a game that didn’t look good early. Down 10 in the third quarter, we called another timeout and somehow we found the energy … “
“The teamwork together, the guys got it done. We talked about it being a 32 minute game, anything can happen; you’ve got to keep playing. If there’s time on the clock, you’ve got a chance … “
In the opening 16 minutes of play, the Titans struggled offensively, trailing 24-20 at halftime.
“We missed a lot of easy shots,” Mader said. “We were getting some decent shots but give Coal Grove a lot of credit, they were very physical and contested a lot of shots. And we were in a little bit of foul trouble too and were trying to buy some minutes from other kids.
“We’ve got to guard the ball better without fouling. We’ve got to rebound. It seemed like they got every lose ball in the first half and those are hustle plays. I thought we got out played, out hustled and out scrapped in the first half. We just challenged them at halftime to go out there and play Notre Dame basketball.”
The Titans will return to SOC play Tuesday with a road trip to Western.
“(The Indians) are going to get out, and scrap and claw; a lot like Coal Grove,” Mader said. “They take a lot of pride in their basketball at Western. We’re going to get back in the gym on Monday and have to get back to work.”
Coal Grove 14 10 17 8 — 49
Notre Dame 15 5 17 14 — 51
Coal Grove — Gannow 4-0-10, Music 4-0-9, Rutherford 5-1-11, Angelo 7-1-16, McKnight 1-1-3.
Notre Dame — Johnson 2-0-5, Kayser 0-1-1, Turner 7-3-18, Bazler 1-0-2, Buttayotee 8-3-19, Sparks 1-3-6.
3-point field goals — Coal Grove 4 (Gannow 2, Music, Angelo); Notre Dame 3 (Johnson, Turner, Sparks).
Coal Grove N/A; Notre Dame 7-2 (2-1).
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.