If you hit it, you are a hero, if you miss it, you’re the villain.
That’s the mindset that Jawaan Crouch took on as he ran up to the top of the key in the final minute of Fayetteville-Manlius’ 46-44 home loss to Nottingham.
When the ball left Crouch’s fingertips, the gym became silent and much of the crowd hoped to have a reason to let out a big, loud roar, but that’s not the way it unfolded.
The senior ended up with the reputation of a villain as the ball bounced off of the iron and Nottingham drained the remaining time off of the clock and the Fayetteville-Manlius community let out sighs of frustration and began to formulate sentences that started with the word “if.”
Well, not the away team and their crowd. Nottingham’s spectators were active and passionately encouraged their team throughout the game. They turned up the volume higher and higher as the game progressed and were jumping up and down on the bleachers in the fourth quarter.
F-M’s student section matched and arguably surpassed their energy with their enthusiasm. The Hornets’ Nest was full and ready to begin one of their go-to chants at any point.
But the struggles that their team faced prevented them from chanting as loud or often as they would have liked to. Missed opportunities on the offensive end leading up to the final buzzer hurt F-M and made it difficult for them to get over the hump.
They tried, though. Crouch paved the path and dropped 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting, but, was 0-for-3 from downtown. He also had four rebounds, all of which were defensive, two assists, and two steals.
A few seconds after Crouch’s miss, the Hornets found themselves with another offensive possession and gave the ball to Timmy Zapisek, who has been their best three-point shooters, but, he wasn’t able to connect on it.
In the 31 minutes that led up to the action-packed final one, F-M suffered on the boards, as they had just two offensive rebounds in the game. They also were cold from behind the arc and made just one three-pointer throughout the contest.
F-M competed with Nottingham for the majority of the game, but, the game proved to be out of reach when the final seconds came around.