West Nassau trips up The Villages in OT of second round of Battle

The Villages High School forward Gian Rolon shoots the three over the West Nassau defense in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s second-round game of the Battle at The Villages.

It was basketball — not horseshoes or hand grenades — and it was one The Villages High School boys basketball team almost won, anyway.

Down three starters due to injury and facing one of the country’s top individual talents in the Battle at The Villages consolation semifinals, the host Buffalo made a run late to nearly derail West Nassau (Callahan) and star forward Dallan Coleman, before ultimately stumbling down the stretch in a 63-56 overtime loss on Tuesday.

VHS opened the fourth quarter on a 12-0 run and led by a half-dozen (47-41) with four minutes to play, but the Buffalo couldn’t hold off Coleman and his fellow visitors from the north of Jacksonville throughout the end of regulation and overtime.

“I knew we’d come in and fight, scrap, battle and do whatever we had to do … and we almost pulled it off,” said VHS head coach Colt McDowell. “We were dealing with a lot of adversity, but this group is very relentless and they’re resilient. I wish we would’ve been able to finish it, but there’s a lot of opportunity for growth coming out of this for us.”

Read this story and many others in Wednesday's edition of the Daily Sun.