INDEPENDENCE — Superman usually wears a red cape. Saturday he wore Open Door blue.
Patriots senior Gavin Dobbins scored a school-record 51 points, including an 18-footer at the buzzer for the win, as Open Door rallied from an eight-point deficit in the final two minutes to stun Mayfield 75-73 in the Independence Tip Off Tournament.
“I owed the team one because I personally blamed myself for the loss yesterday,” Dobbins said. “Today I told coach (Kevan) Ford we were gonna get one and that’s exactly what happened.”
Dobbins, a third-team Division IV All-Ohio selection last year, carried his team all night but still managed to raise his performance to another level in the closing seconds.
He made a 3-pointer, his sixth of the night — from NBA range — to cut the Mayfield lead to 72-71 with 16.7 seconds to play.
After Mayfield’s Hayden Nahra missed the back end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity at the other end, Dobbins grabbed the rebound, calmly dribbled down the court and worked his way into the key for a running 8-foot jumper to tie the game at 73 with 2.3 seconds remaining.
However, the best was still yet to come.
After a Mayfield (0-3) timeout, the Wildcats’ inbound pass from underneath their own basket was stolen by Open Door freshman guard Jaiden Howard-Guerra, who had the presence of mind to get the ball to Dobbins, who sank the game-winner before being mobbed by his teammates in front of the Open Door bench.
“I’ve been waiting for three years to get on the court with this guy,” Howard-Guerra said of Dobbins. “That’s how Gavin is, when he had a bad game last night I knew he was going to come out and do something like this tonight.”
If shattering the previous single-game school record of 45 points, which was held by Abe Valentine and Brian Harrell, wasn’t enough, Dobbins also pulled down 19 rebounds.
“I didn’t have to tell him anything,” Ford said. “Gavin came out today and was already keyed in when we went to shootaround this morning. He had the look, he was ready to go. I knew we were going to have a big night from him but I didn’t know we were going to have this big of a night from him.”
“It was an unbelievable performance,” Ford said. “He played his heart out. It was the best performance in a high school game I’ve ever seen. I’m so proud of him.”
Open Door (2-1) looked like it was going to let a game get away in the fourth quarter for the second night in a row.
Mayfield got a 3-pointer from Collin Bresler with 7:07 remaining to give the Wildcats a 55-52 lead and start an 18-10 run that culminated in Mayfield going up 70-62 on Frankie Ceraolo’s third 3-pointer of the fourth quarter with 2:10 remaining.
Dobbins, whose game-winner gave Open Door its first lead since Marcello Leone put Mayfield in front 39-38 with 5:55 to play in the third quarter, scored 12 of the Patriots’ final 13 points.
Howard-Guerra, who scored 10 points, and Michael Couture, who scored all of his points on a pair of 3-pointers, were the only Patriots with more than two points.
Nahra led Mayfield with 19 points, while Ceraolo scored all 12 of his points in the second half.
“My teammates trust me to take the shots and today they were just going in more that usual,” said Dobbins, who previous career-high was 39. “We were really down yesterday because we thought that was a winnable game, so this feels so amazing right now.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Door 75, Mayfield 73
OPEN DOOR (75): Jaiden Howard-Guerra 4-2-10, Danny DeFranco 0-2-2, Michael Couture 2-0-6, Mitchell Wiley 0-2-2, Gavin Dobbins 17-11-51, Kevan Ford 0-2-2, Julius Moon 0-2-2. Totals 23-21-75.
MAYFIELD (73): Marcello Leone 3-0-6, Donovan Coffey 4-0-9, Alex Page 3-2-9, Noah Adams 1-4-6, Collin Bresler 1-0-3, Giovanni DiTomaso 4-0-9, Frankie Ceraolo 4-0-12, Hayden Nahra 7-4-19. Totals 27-10-73.
Open Door 18 18 16 23 — 75
Mayfield 20 11 21 21 — 73
Three-point goals: Open Door (Dobbins 6, Couture 2), Mayfield (Ceraolo 4, Coffey, Bresler, Page, DiTomaso, Nahra). Field goals: Open Door 23-48 (33 percent), Mayfield 27-59 (44 percent). Free throws: Open Door 17-27 (69 percent), Mayfield 10-14 (67 percent). Rebounds: Open Door 26, Mayfield 40. Turnovers: Open Door 13, Mayfield 16. Total fouls: Open Door 16, Mayfield 21.