NORTON: Coventry’s final play didn’t necessarily go the way that coach Mike DiFalco drew it up in the huddle.

But DiFalco had no problem with the result in his team’s 71-68 overtime win over visiting Norton in a Portage Trail Conference Metro Division game.

“We wanted a back cut from the corner,” DiFalco said. “But that guy was covered and he made a play.”

The “he” being junior guard Micah Wallace, who with 1.7 seconds left to play knocked down a step-back jump shot to give the Comets a 70-68 lead.

After a turnover by Norton, Wallace hit a free throw with .8 of a second left to cap the scoring.

“He’s been doing it for us for two years,” DiFalco said of Wallace, who finished with 18 points. “When the game’s on the line, he wants the ball in his hands. Micah’s an unbelievable player and a better person and I have a lot of trust [in him] when he has the ball in his hands.”

Coventry (14-8, 10-4) trailed for the majority of the game but used a 16-9 advantage in the second quarter to battle back. When the Panthers answered with a 10-0 run late in the fourth quarter, the Comets stayed composed.

Junior forward Jarmond Hogg led the way for Coventry with a game-high 33 points. Senior center Sam Vanadia added 16 points.

“We were bad in transition early,” DiFalco said. “Our first point of emphasis was that we had to get back and get them into the half court. They still made some plays throughout the course of the game, but I felt that once we limited the transition baskets we were able to settle in a little bit defensively.”

Sophomore Tyler Scott made the majority of those plays down the stretch for Norton (17-5, 12-2), and finished with a team-high 24 points. Christian Cheatham also scored in double figures, chipping in 11 points for the Panthers, who shared the Metro Division title with Woodridge.

DiFalco said a major road win like the one over the Panthers was exactly what his team needed with tournament play right around the corner. He said games like Friday’s win are the type his players should expect to see for the rest of the year, and it can be used as a huge confidence boost.

“I can’t think of a better win to get us rolling for the tournament,” DiFalco said. “We were excited to come and play in this environment against a really good team. This was a tournament-caliber game, so I think this puts us in a great position moving forward.”

Coventry is seeded seventh in the Division II Canton sectional-district and will host No. 10 Alliance at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Norton is the No. 6 seed in the same sectional and will host No. 11 Field at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

If they get that far, the teams would meet March 8 in a district semifinal at the Canton Memorial Fieldhouse.