Brandon Helmuth stepped across the midcourt line and drained a half-court shot at the buzzer, but Stew-Stras was still two points shy, as Windsor held on to their Homecoming Hatchet by the skin of their teeth on Friday, 49-47.
Tristan Warner's two free throws kept the second straight Homecoming Hatchet game from going into overtime.
Windsor came back from five points down and took a 1-point lead when Alex Allen grabbed a missed free throw and put it back up with 1:30 to play, 45-44 Windsor. Inside 40 seconds left Warner drove and made a basket for a 47-44 lead.
Stew-Stras' Jason Fry came down and just before he buried a possible game-tying 3 with 25 seconds left, Comet Coach Shane Smith called a time-out. The basket was waved off.
Windsor played stiff defense and with 10 seconds left another Comet 3 attempt missed the mark and went out of bounds. Windsor had the ball at the end line with 9.6 seconds left.
Down by three, Stew-Stras had to steal or foul, but they only had four team fouls. They fouled on the inbound. On the next inbound, they knocked the ball out. With 7.2 seconds Allen was fouled. On the inbound, Warner drove and was fouled, putting the Devils in the bonus, finally.
Warner made the all important front end, putting Windsor up by four, 48-44. He made the second, 49-44. Fry took the ball out and heaved it to Helmuth, who crossed mid-court and hit the buzzer beater, to no avail.
The tempo of this game was different from the Stew-Stras Homecoming Hatchet game to start the season. That game had a frenetic pace and ended in overtime, as the Comets prevailed by attrition.
The Devils controlled the more tempered tempo and took a lead in the 1st period that would last into the 3rd.
Windsor took a 1-point lead, when Warner dished inside to Ryaln Ard with 2:20 left in the 1st, 8-7. Warner then dialed in from long distance, 11-7. Fry hit a floater, but Allen drove for two and Warner stole the ball on the inbound and scored, 15-9. Helmuth drove and scored for a 15-11 Devil lead after one.
Windsor went on a 8-3 run to take a 11-point lead. Allen stopped and popped in the lane. On the next possession, Warner drove, lost the ball at the net and the ball went right to Ard who put it in, 19-11.
Chandler Ballinger drove, scooped and scored, but two possessions later, Allen went end to end after a miss and made it 21-13. After the next Comet miss, Allen rebounded the ball and got it to Warner for the fast break two and a 10-point lead, 23-13.
Mark Jones split a pair at the line, before Nic Hutchinson made a jumper from the key and an 11-point lead, 25-14.
The Comets started trimming the lead two and a half minutes later and didn't stop until they took a lead in the 3rd quarter, a 19-4 run.
Bryse Bugger scored inside, Hayden Cole made a put-back two, then Jones made a jumper. Bugger made both ends of a 1-and-1 and it was 27-20 at the break.
The temperate tempo of the 1st half, turned into no tempo in the 3rd, as Windsor began standing around and turning the ball over.
Windsor missed and Bugger drove and scored to open the 3rd. Windsor turned it over and Fry split a pair at the line. Windsor turned the ball over again and Bugger scored, 29-25. Allen spinned inside, split two defenders and put the ball up and in as he tripped and was fallng down. Helmuth's 3 rattled out.
Windsor turned the ball over again and Helmuth finished a fast break, 29-27. Windsor turned the ball over and Frey split another pair at the line, 29-28. With 2:45 left in the 3rd, Chandler Ballinger dished to Bugger for two and their first lead since the 1st, 30-29.
Ard had his third block of the game, but Windsor missed and Fry went end to end scored and was fouled. He converted the 3-point play for a 33-29 lead. Cole hit a floater and with 30 seconds left in the 3rd, Hutchinson dished to Warner for two and a tie to end the 3rd, 33-33.
Windsor missed to open the 4th and Warner drove went up and was bumped. He came down and garbbed the ball. No foul was called or traveling. Ballinger scored on a fast break.
Windsor coach Silas Pogue came on the floor and informed the officials they missed the foul call on Warner. He was called for a technical foul. Fry made both free throws and got the ball, 37-33 Comets.
Ard defended the Comet shot. Rincker split a pair at the stripe for the Comets biggest lead of the game with 6:49 to play, 38-33. Allen went right to the rim for two. Rincker made both ends of a 1-and-1, 40-35.
A minute and a half later, Warner made a jumper in the lane. Helmuth scored along the base line, 42-37.
With 3:56 to play, Warner was fouled on a shot and made both free throws to start to close the gap. Jones drove on another second shot attempt and scored, 42-39.
Allen then made a man-sized play. After missing a jumper from the free throw line, he crashed the boards, got his own rebound, put it in and was fouled. He converted to cut the deficit to two, 44-42.
Cole drove and was fouled. He made the first and Allen got the rebound and scored for the lead, 45-44. The previously mentioned ending then unfolded.
Warner and Allen were the leadng scorers in the game with 19 and 17 pointd, respectively. Warner had seven bucket, including a trey and 4-of-4 at the line. Allen had eight scores and 1-of-1 from the line.
Helmuth and Bugger led Stew-Stras with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Helmuth had two treys and 2-of-3 at the line. Bugger had four buckets and 2-of-4 foul shooting. Fry finished with nine points, making 5-of-7 free throws.
Stew-Stras had a 6-point advantage from the arc and a 6-point advantage from the line, but Windsor had a 14-point advantage inside the arc for the 2-point win.