JIMTOWN — The play wasn’t necessarily drawn up for Adam DeShone to take the shot, but the Jimtown sophomore read and reacted the way he needed to.
As time ticked off the fourth-quarter clock, DeShone pulled up behind the arc and sank the game-tying three-pointer. Seconds later, Jimtown was heading into overtime with Northern State Conference rival Bremen.
Then the pressure was on DeShone's shoulders again when he took two late trips to the charity stripe, hitting three of four attempts with the game still on the line.
When the dust cleared, Jimtown (6-8, 2-3 NCS) had snapped its five-game losing streak with a 56-54 win over the Lions.
Despite his youth and the pressure of the moment, DeShone was unshakable. Simply put, he was ready for it.
"I've put in a lot of work in the offseason, so I trusted in myself and I have confidence in myself," he said.
DeShone finished with four three-pointers and three free throws for a team-high 17 points. When his shooting lanes weren't open at first, he was dishing the ball down to Trevor Hobbs, who finished the first half with 10 points.
"It just read and react," Jimtown coach Ron Dietz said of DeShone. "He did a very good job reading and reacting to the defensive pressure and stepped up and hit some big shots for us and some key free throws for us also."
On a team where three sophomores, a junior and a freshman start, Jimtown's roster has had to grow up quickly over the course of the season. Dietz has watched the Jimmies develop on the court in the first 13 games.
"They're gonna grow and learn to know how to play the game of basketball, and we don't play the prettiest at times," he said. "But they're starting to read and react out there on the floor, especially in crunch time."
Dietz said he's been proud of the defensive efforts his players have put forth in the last couple of games. He sees glimpses of the team that was once 5-3 instead of the team that lost five in a row. DeShone sees it, too, sensing that this was a game that the Jimmies really needed to put away.
"It's a game where you look back and you think about the games that could have gone either way," DeShone said. "This is a game that definitely could have gone either way that we needed to get, and hopefully help us get to 10 wins this season."
Part of that turn-around will come from the Jimmies' developing leadership. Over the course of the season, DeShone and junior Nick Floyd have assumed those roles. Dietz said DeShone has developed into a vocal leader, whereas Floyd represents a calm, steady anchor as the most senior starter on the court.
"We get in too big a hurry and when we get in too big a hurry, there's nothing for us out there," Dietz said. "It's a bunch of kids trying to find a shot instead of working together to get a shot. When we can have someone who can steady the ship, understand what we're running and read and react to the situation...Those two have really stepped forward for us."
Instead of feeling uncomfortable stepping up with only a year and a half of varsity experience, DeShone feels natural. DeShone said his father, former Jimtown basketball coach Randy DeShone, taught him how to carry himself on the court. Be a leader, he said. Be confident.
"I've got to trust myself and put in the work in the summer so I know that I can show the team the right things to do," DeShone said. "They let me be the leader. We have some juniors that step in and let me lead. They're a big part of it too."
BREMEN 54 OT
Bremen — Austin Adams 1-1 2-3 4, Sam Lacher 2-2 0-0 4, Ryan Topper 3-7 4-9 10, Matt Box 5-10 3-4 14, Joey Atkins 9-22 2-2 22, Bryce Cassel 0-2 0-0 0, Craig Allen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-45 (.444) 12-22 (.545) 54.
Jimtown — Nick Floyd 5-13 2-3 13, Sam Pawlak 2-5 2-2 6, Dylan Guldager 0-0 1-2 1, Adam DeShone 5-8 3-4 17, Trevor Hobbs 6-9 1-4 13, Austin Secor 3-4 0-0 6, Kain Templeton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-39 (.538) 9-15 (.600) 56.
Scoring By Quarters
Bremen — 9 8 15 13 9 — 54
Jimtown — 12 13 12 8 11 — 56
3-point goals: Bremen (3-8) — Atkins 2, Box; Jimtown (5-12) — DeShone 4, Floyd.
Rebounds: Bremen (21) — Topper 9; Jimtown (21) — Hobbs 10.
Turnovers: Bremen 10, Jimtown 12.
Total fouls: Bremen 18, Jimtown 20. Fouled out — Pawlak.
Records: Jimtown 6-8 (2-4 Northern State Conference); Bremen 2-9 (0-4 NSC).
Next: Jimtown at John Glenn Thursday, Feb. 16.
JV: Bremen 34, Jimtown 28. Top scorers: Bremen — Chandler Snyder 14, Grant Klockow 12; Jimtown — Travis Atkinson 11, Jake Vicsik 9.