|Posted by THE BOSS on March 21, 2015 at 6:15 AM|
Old Boys made it five wins out of five in the Trophy, twice coming from behind in the dying seconds in an overtime thriller to sink Pirates by 93-91 in this quarterfinal. Keenan has had an amazing run in the last few games and he got us off the mark tonight with a triple in the first minute, but then had a quiet quarter for him, only adding one more bucket on the drive in the 8th. But he would turn the afterburners on again in spectacular fashion later. They pulled a couple back before Andy got off the mark in the 2nd, then they cut through our zone easily again three more times for inside baskets before Abe started a monumental shift for him with his first score at the end of the 3rd. Andy made one of a pair, Abe swished a pair from the line then followed with a 2+1 and Andy finished the quarter with a made pair to see us close on 34-21 (17-21 in their favour without the handicap).
Andy finished a strong drive again in the 1st minute of the 2nd quarter, Keenan made one of a pair and Abe made both of a pair before the visitors could make much reply. Andy swished another free for the first of a number of technicals against Pirates, then Abe rebounded and put back yet again. Keenan split another pair of frees, Abe banked another short J and Keenan laid up again in the 7th before we went scoreless for the last 3 minutes and Pirates cut us back by 8 points to finish the half just 10 down on 47-37.
Abe got going again straightaway at the turnaround, drawing yet another foul and splitting the pair. Andy faked and drove again for another score in the 2nd before Tony went off on one for a remarkable 4-minute, 11-point spell with four buckets on the drive and a triple from the top. In the same spell Andy and Keenan both added another basket each, but our zone was the most porous it had been all game and they were waltzing through it with ease, and making triples now, in their most free-scoring period of the game. At the end of Tony’s one-man crusade they were still just 8 points away from us and then they put on another 6-0 run because of some careless turnovers to cut our lead to just the two points. Andy was fouled again in the 10th and made the first but had to retire temporarily to plaster a cut finger. Pete was put in to take the second for him and swished it. Abe had a quiet quarter for him, but finished strongly again on the boards in the 10th to restore a 6-point lead for us. That was cut to 3 on 69-66 when their big man, Steve White, launched an ugly breezeblock from halfway that appeared to leave his hand after the buzzer. It rattled the entire basket, backboard and frame assembly before banking in and the officials decreed it valid.
White breezed through our zone again in the first minute of the 4th to cut the lead to a single point before Andy scored again in the paint to restore it to 3. They cut through three more times to take their first lead of the game before Abe clawed it back with two more strong inside moves. Billy Vye, Pirates’ MVP, had danced through our zone at will all game and now he made a pair on a foul to restore their 1-point lead, then extended it to 3 again with another wriggly drive through the middle. Tony pulled a point back with one of a pair but they stretched it to 4 with another score from Steve White in the 8th. Densil called a time-out and there was disagreement about how to shore up our defence. Pete urged a man-for-man and Tony agreed that this was the way to go. It immediately paid off when Pete intercepted a pass and the ball was worked inside again to Abe to bank in another to cut the lead to 2. John Fajardo, their outside shooter, made one of a pair in the 10th for yet another 3-point lead, then they had an inbounds in their back-court with 23 seconds remaining. All they had to do was pass it in and hold it to wait for the foul that had to come to stop the clock. The pass was aimed at Fajardo but Pete was on him like glue and he stripped the ball cleanly and turned to eye up the three-point attempt to tie the game, but he could see Keenan in a better position top left. I don’t know who’s been writing his scripts lately, but this one touched nothing but the bottom of the net to tie us on 81. They had a few seconds for a last shot, but all five Old Boys on court got under their skin and the attempt dropped well short.
Now that we had seen that we could stay with them in a man-for-man we stuck with it for the five bonus minutes. In our first three offences we worked the ball to Pete on the strong side and he found Abe in the low post every time for a spin cycle and bucket. They levelled each time on the first two from 4 made frees, and then tied it again with a bucket in the 3rd. They retook the lead with another made pair in the 4th before Tony split a pair at the start of the 5th to leave us a point behind. With under 30 seconds remaining we had to stop the clock, even though we were in team fouls, and another made pair put them 3 points up again in the dying seconds for the second time in the game.
You know what’s coming next before you read it. Keenan took the ball to the top, he shot, the ball scorched the twine once more and the game was tied all over again. Understandably, Pirates couldn’t believe their eyes or their luck with this bit of déjà vu and their dismay and our pressure made them spill the ball again. Tony received it in the low post with about ten seconds to go, he was fouled and they complained enough for a T as well. He made the first for a one-point lead, but missed the 2nd. Andy stepped up to take the T, but missed. He took the in-bounds with 1.6 on the clock and passed it to Keenan who managed to get the shot off but was fouled. He split the pair for us to finish the comeback of the century on 93-91 to book a trip to the semi-finals.
Pirates won all four quarters (by 4, 3, 7 and 3) to erase their handicap, but when the going got really tough the really tough got going to win the overtime 12-10. Keenan just edged his third MVP in a row with those two clutch triples, but Abe was a very strong contender, too, after an immense game where he was dominant on the boards at both ends and scored consistently throughout the game for 28 points. It wasn’t a trademark Old Boys performance with the whole bench sharing the scoring, but all involved dug really deep to get the job done.
Scorers: Ahmed 28, Lawrence 18 (MVP), Broughton 15, Kissoon 14, Radford 1.