WADSWORTH: The Wadsworth boys basketball team went back to class Wednesday and it resulted in a 65-60 overtime win over ninth-seeded Firestone in Barberton Division I sectional action.

The victory was all about chemistry as the eighth-seeded Grizzlies (14-9) took the Falcons’ best punch and found a way to advance to play at top-seeded Stow (19-3) on Saturday.

But that’s what you get with three-year starters in Tony Hewitt, Christian Szalay, Reid Black and Jake Justice and a two-year starter in Jack Simmons.

“It was crazy out there,” Wadsworth coach Mike Schmeltzer Jr. said. “Just talking about it, tournament time brings out the craziness of basketball. I think that those kids playing together for so long in that situation was definitely the difference. I don’t think we win that game if we don’t have that much experience.”

The crazy came out almost immediately as Wadsworth shot an ungodly 13-for-14 from inside the arc in the first half to take a 35-24 lead at intermission.

Game over. Drive safely. Right? Wrong.

Justice Lane (16 points, 7 rebounds) and LaFette Johnson (16, 5) brought Firestone right back into it with solid second halves, pulling the Falcons within three heading to the fourth. That’s when things got a little crazy as the teams traded the lead six times in a quarter that also featured three ties.

Schmeltzer called three timeouts in the final 1:48 to draw up a play, but Christian Szalay’s layup at the buzzer missed and the two went into the extra session tied at 55.

“We were in the same situation last season in the second round and came up short against Brunswick [in a 47-34 loss]. I think us playing games like that make us more prepared and battle-tested for the next round.”

Heading into the extra session, Hewitt (13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists) and Szalay (13, 7, 2) were playing decent, but not up to the caliber they were accustomed.

That all changed in the span of 17 seconds when Szalay found a cutting Hewitt with 1:32 remaining in the extra session to give Wadsworth its final lead at 60-58.

After a steal by Jack Simmons (10 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists), Szalay found Hewitt waiting in the corner and his 3-point splash put things away.

Justice finished with a game-high 19 points.

“You could tell they’ve been playing together awhile,” Firestone coach Dave Milo said. “It seems like we’ve been playing those guys forever. It means a lot, the chemistry and everything. It’s going to be a tough game between them and Stow, you have to give them credit. They’re a good team.”

Saturday’s game will be the third time the two Suburban League National Conference foes have played each other, with Stow winning the first two games 57-51 on Dec. 15 and 74-59 on Jan. 26 en route to a conference title.

On the flip side, Milo will head into the offseason excited for the future, even though he loses Ashland commit Justin Moore and starters Marcus Lee, Perrion Johnson and Taylor Mack.

“Our attitude was good,” Milo said. “We’re hurting. We’re down to seven guys basically. We were just tired.”