Boys Basketball: Drew Faieta completes rally as Worthington Christian Warriors advance to Division III regional final
CHILLICOTHE – Drew Faieta made the most of his limited playing time in a Division III boys basketball regional semifinal against Wheelersburg on March 10 at Chillicothe Southeastern.
The senior guard played only two minutes in the first half and didn't return until the final four minutes, but he felt more than ready to do his part to help Worthington Christian dig out of a big hole and post a 50-47 victory.
The Warriors completed a game-ending 12-0 run when junior guard D.J. Moore drove toward the lane but passed the ball to Faieta, who hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 1.8 seconds to go.
Worthington Christian improved to 26-1 and will play Proctorville Fairland in a regional final at 7 p.m. March 13 at Southeastern.
“When we were warming up at halftime, I wasn’t missing and was just hitting every shot,” Faieta said. “We had a good rotation out there, and I knew I was going to get my chance if we needed it and if I got my shot I was going to put it in. (Teammate) Sam (Johnson) told me before we went out there that if you get it in the corner, you’ve just got to hit it. It went in, and I got lucky.”
Wheelersburg, which finished 22-2, took its biggest lead at 47-38 with 4:19 to go on a 3-pointer by Kenny Sanderlin.
The Warriors went to a 1-3-1 pressure defense, and shortly after entering the game Faieta made a steal and assisted on Tyler Kindberg's basket with 3:26 to go that cut the deficit to 47-42.
After a missed one-and-one by the Pirates with 3:19 left, Kindberg scored again to cut the deficit to 47-44 with 2:33 left.
The Warriors forced a turnover 34 seconds later, and Faieta hit a 3-pointer with 1:32 left to tie it at 47.
Kobe Buford got a steal with 1:08 left to set up the final possession.
Kindberg scored 17 points and Moore, who played the final 6:51 with four fouls, added 15.
Matthew Miller finished with 17 points, including three first-half 3-pointers, to lead Wheelersburg, which missed only four field-goal attempts in the first half.
“What turned the game for us was we went into a 1-3-1,” Warriors coach Kevin Weakley said. “It’s kind of our desperate measures defense, and it made them kind of stop and think a little bit instead of just play. Once you get on a run in a comeback, it makes the team with the lead kind of tighten a little bit.
“(Faieta) made two big shots, but the really big play that got us jump-started was when he got a steal from behind and instead of shooting a contested layup, he kind of fed it behind to Tyler. He made terrific shots, but that play was part of the comeback.”