The Panthers (17-1) didn’t really see it that way, though.
“To be honest, it is pretty hard to swallow,” said Edmeston coach Darren Belden, whose team made 1 of 10 free throws in the second half, including an 0-for-4 effort in the fourth quarter. “Some of the guys in the locker room are really having a hard time with it. We have to get them ready to go again on Monday, but I am not sure if they will be able to shake it off.
“One-for-10 (from the foul line) and a bunch of turnovers, that’s the key right there,” he continued. “I think we had them beat and then we just started throwing the ball all over the place.”
Griffiths pulled the Wildcats to 32-31 on a putback to end the third quarter. Ward then hit a three-pointer to start the fourth, giving Milford its first lead since the opening basket.
Edmeston tied it at 34 when Wainright retrieved a loose ball near midcourt and scored a transition layup with 6:16 left in regulation. Nick DeVries followed with an inside basket to give Edmeston a 36-34 lead with 4:06 left, but he missed a free throw after drawing a foul on Max Lang.
Griffiths hit an and-one layup off a driving pass from Tabor, drawing a foul on Logan Vibbard while tying the score at 36 with 2:28 to go. He missed the ensuing free throw, and DeVries and Tabor exchanged close-range baskets for a 38-all deadlock.
Fallon’s turnaround jumper off a pass from Kyle King put Edmeston back on top, at 40-38 with 1:34 left. But 20 seconds later, Ward hit a three-pointer off an inbounds pass from Griffiths.
The Panthers took their final lead when Vibbard sank a three-pointer from the left corner with 43 seconds to go. Griffiths’ putback tied the score for the final time and ultimately forced overtime.