Will Guthie’s three-point play with 5.8
seconds left in overtime lifted the Pittsfield Saukees to a
52-51 victory over the Flying Geese of Wethersfield, who were
making their Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament debut. It was a
dramatic ending to the first round as Pittsfield overcame an
eight-point fourth quarter deficit. Unfortunately for
Wethersfield, it was a familiar refrain as the Geese suffered
their third loss by a single point already this season.
The win for the Saukees (5-6) was an
unlikely one to say the least, especially after starting guard
Cade Tomhave left the game and did not return after slamming
into the press table going after a loose ball with one minute
left in the third quarter.
Another storyline was the play of
Wethersfield’s Coltin Quagliano. He played all 36 minutes,
tallying 32 points, five rebounds and five steals. Quagliano
gave Wethersfield (6-4) a 45-37 advantage with just under four
minutes remaining in regulation, the largest lead of the night
be either side.
But the Geese misfired on seven of their
next eight field goal attempts, finishing under 30 percent for
the game (17-for-57). Guthrie assisted on baskets by Carter
Klatt and Peyton Apps to pull the Saukees to within four. After
a lay up by Quagliano, a put-back by Klatt again made the
deficit four. After Wethersfield missed the front-end of a
one-and-one, Noah Gay brought Pittsfield to within two on a
put-back lay in with 1:29 left. A steal by Guthrie set up the
game-tying lay up by Apps with 42 seconds remaining. Guthrie
blocked away a potential game-winning shot by Wethersfield with
two seconds left and Pittsfield defended well the following
in-bounds play to force an extra frame.
In overtime, it appeared Quagliano would
finally save the day for the Geese when he knocked the ball
loose near midcourt and sprinted ahead for the go-ahead basket
with 1:16 to go. Tevin Baker then stole the ball away for
Wethersfield with under 20 seconds remaining forcing Pittsfield
to foul Quagliano with 13 seconds to play. He made one out of
two making the score 51-49.
Pittsfield raced downcourt as Nate Scranton
drove to the lane and hit a wide-open Guthrie with a deft bounce
pass. Guthrie converted and was fouled to set up the
game-winning free throw. Wethersfield had one more chance, but
Kale Nelson’s leaner from 10 feet at the buzzer was just off the
Pittsfield overcame 21 turnovers with a
39-28 rebounding margin and big edge in field goal shooting
(46.5% to 29.8%). Three Saukees reached double figures in
points: Klatt (14), Guthrie (12), and Apps (10). All three
players finished with at least five rebounds as well. Klatt and
Tomhave recorded four assists.
Quagliano’s 32 points were the most by any
player on day one of the tournament. Baker was a force on the
boards for the Geese, recording eight boards to go with seven
points. Waylon Bryant chipped in with five points, four assists,
and three steals. Wethersfield had just seven turnovers and shot
almost twice as many free throws as the opposition, but made
just 48 percent (12-for-25) at the line.
Pittsfield advances to the quarterfinals to face the two-time
defending champions from West Hancock, a 59-43 winner over
Illini Bluffs in the first round, for yet another late-night tip
off at 9:30 pm Friday. Wethersfield will match up with Illini
Bluffs at 2:30 Friday in the consolation bracket.