PIQUA — Edison State men’s basketball coach Kyle Vanover knows it is not how you start the season — but how you finish it.
And on Saturday, that was true for the game with Ancilla in a battle of the Chargers.
Edison State fell behind 17-3 in the early going, lost a seven-point lead in the final two minutes of regulation — but dominated the overtime for an 96-86 victory to even its record at 2-2.
“It is really hard at community college level when you only have players for two years to keep that consistency,” Vanover said. “We point towards the final three games of the regular season and the conference tournament. The first four or five games are never going to define our season.”
Or will the first four or five minutes, as the Chargers found themselves in an early 14-point hole before rallying to take a 39-33 halftime lead and lead most of the second half.
“We have a lot of scores on this team,” Vanover said. “We have the ability to score points in bunches. So, we are never going to panic when we get behind early in a game.”
With two 3-pointers by Kendyll Toney and basket by Brendan Crump off a Montana Cotrell assist — Edison led 80-73 with 2:30 remaining in regulation.
But, Ancilla scored the final seven points of regulation to tie it 80-80 and force overtime.
“That was just do to our inexperience,” Vanover said.
Tywan Hall scored the first three points of overtime and Cotrell added a basket.
When Hall hit a 3-pointer and Jesse Dixon hit two free throws, the Chargers led 92-83 with 48 seconds to go and Edison held on from there.
Hall had 19 points and six rebounds for the Chargers.
“We have been expecting more from Tywan (Hall),” Vanover said. “He stepped up today. Hopefully, this will get him going.”
Kendyll Toney had 19 points and nine rebounds and Jesse Dixon had 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Montana Cotrell added 10 points, Devonte Curry had six rebounds and Jordan Howard pulled down five rebounds.
Edison State was 33 for 68 from the floor for the game for 49 percent, including 14 of 36 from 3-point range for 39 percent.
The Chargers converted 16 of 29 free throws for 55 percent.
Edison grabbed 47 rebounds and had just 12 turnovers.
You can reach Sports Editor Rob Kiser at [email protected]