Marcellus 63, Sherburne-Earlville 60 (OT)
SHERBURNE – Sherburne-Earlville’s late-game heroics did not carry over into overtime.
For the second time in as many years, Marcellus ended the Marauders season in the first round of sectional play, breaking the home team’s collective hearts on Valentine’s Day no less.
Nick Sinay made four free throws in overtime for the Mustangs, and leading scorer Kyle Hastings put in the last two of his game-high 21 with just over a minute left to keep Marcellus firmly in control of overtime session. “When the game went into overtime, I thought everything was going our way at that point,” said S-E coach Kevin Vibbard. “I thought our kids showed a lot of character coming back in the last few seconds.”
Marcellus took a 55-50 lead after Sinay made a pair of free throws with 25 seconds left in the fourth.
The Marauders missed two free throws on their next possession, and the hopes of a comeback looked bleak when Hastings went to the foul line for Marcellus with 15 seconds left in regulation.
Hastings missed the front end of a one-and-one, and S-E closed the gap to two points when Jesse Yerton found Randy Briggs at the top of the key, who knocked down his second three-pointer of the game with 8.6 seconds left.
Coming out of timeout, S-E pressured Marcellus full court, and reserve Carter Cole picked up a steal near the halfcourt line. Cole drove toward the basket and found Cole Hodges, who laid in the tying basket with 3.4 seconds left.
Marcellus picked up three straight defensive stops on S-E to start the overtime period, and led the entire overtime period.
Sinay’s last free throw with 14.9 seconds left in overtime created the final margin of victory. S-E didn’t go quietly, and had three three-point attempts to tie the game that were off the mark. “Early in the overtime period, we struggled to get quality shots,” Vibbard said. “We settled down and made some good plays and had good opportunities toward the end. We got the shots we wanted, they were just a little long or a little short. That’s part of the game.”