And that meant a loss the Truckers may regret later in the season on Friday in SBC Lake Division action at Clyde.
The Truckers let a 10-point lead with 14-plus minutes remaining — and an eight-point lead (49-41) entering the fourth quarter — slip away in a 61-60 loss to the Fliers.
Norwalk sophomore Will Gehlhausen’s three-point attempt as time expired was good — but his foot was on the line and ruled a two-pointer in the defeat.
But three-point shooting and foul shooting proved to be the biggest detriment in the setback that dropped the Truckers to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the league.
Norwalk was just 3-of-18 (16 percent) from beyond the arc and 13-of-22 at the free-throw line (59 percent).
In a one-point loss, those numbers stick out more than usual.
“We talk a lot about who we are,” Norwalk coach Steve Gray said. “And we’re not a one pass, shoot a three team. We had talked about shot selection. But yet we continue to shoot the three — and that’s not who we are.
“Now, if you go inside out and make a couple ball reverses to get wide open — that’s a good shot,” he added. “But to make one pass and shoot a three is not a good shot for us.”
Norwalk led 56-47 with 4:43 left in the game on a basket by Gehlhausen. But the Fliers scored the next 11 points over a 3:23 span — with little things adding up to big things in key spots according to Gray.
“Our lack of organization during important parts of the game is where we lost it,” he said. “We worked all week on defensive transition. (Kyler) Lacy hits a two to tie it, and we give up a wide open three. Our press offense — we don’t get in the right spots.
“We missed a box out on a free throw late in the game, and an open layup underneath late in the game,” Gray added. “Those are all little things that we just have to get better at doing.”
The above reference from Gray was when Derick Harrah rebounded a missed free throw and put it back up and in for a 58-56 lead with 1:20 left. That marked the first lead for the Fliers since the 2:10 mark of the second quarter.
Lacy immediately tied it with a inside bank shot just 16 seconds later. However, Cam Farrar hit a deep 3 from the right wing with just over 58 seconds left to put the Fliers up 61-58.
The Truckers had a couple chances at the game-tying shot. But with the Fliers having two fouls to give, Brandon Haraway was fouled with five seconds left before he could draw a foul attempt on a deep 3.
The ball then got to Gehlhausen, who at first broke inside, then darted to the right corner for a desperation three. It was nothing but net — but his foot was on the line as the horn sounded to seal the loss.
In the first half, Norwalk trailed 6-0 three minutes in, but battled its way back to trail 16-15 after one quarter.
The Truckers trailed 29-24 with 3:54 left in the second quarter. But they got hot from there, closing the half on a 16-3 scoring run to open up a 40-32 halftime lead.
Lacy scored twice in a row — including a three-point play — and Gehlhausen connected on a 3-pointer for a 36-30 Norwalk lead at the 1:36 mark. Austin Brown then scored twice in a row as the Fliers struggled to handle the ball, making it a 40-30 lead.
James Dry hit a running jumper at the halftime buzzer to bring the Fliers within 40-32 — then both teams played to a sloppy 9-9 stalemate in the third quarter.
“For them to score 25 in a quarter shows the athleticism and the type of team Norwalk has,” Clyde coach Ryan Fretz said. “They have athletes, great players — and a coach that knows what to do with them.
“But we continued to look inside, and hopefully it would open things up outside for four seniors who we know we can put on the three-point line and knock open shots down,” he added. “But to do that, it had to start on the defensive end.”
Haraway finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Truckers. Lacy had 10 points and six rebounds, while Gehlhausen 10 points and Brown added nine.
Norwalk looks to bounce back in non-league play at Keystone tonight.
“Keystone is a very good team, and this will show how much character we have,” Gray said. “I expect will play really well and give a great effort.”
In the junior varsity game, the Fliers posted a 48-35 win. For Norwalk, Kyler Kromer and Brandon Ehrenberg each scored nine points. Andrew Mozina added six rebounds and four assists.
NORWALK (2-2, 1-1)
Brandon Haraway 6-4—16; Kyler Lacy 4-2—10; Will Gehlhausen 4-1—10; Austin Brown 3-2—9; Garrett Chapin 2-1—5; Ryan Sowders 1-2—4; Garrett Obringer 1-1—4; Ian Minor 1-0—2. TOTALS 22-13—60.
CLYDE (4-1, 2-0)
Ryan Lozier 0-1—1; Cam Farrar 4-1—13; Brock Newsome 2-3—9; Will Dowling 4-1—9; James Dry 6-1—16; Derick Harrah 3-1—8; Jack Morrison 1-3—5. TOTALS 20-11—61.
Norwalk 15 25 9 11 — 60
Clyde 16 16 9 20 — 61
3-point FGs: (N) Gehlhausen, Brown Obringer; (C)
JV: Clyde, 48-35