(Beverly) This one stretched the legal limits for excitement. Ask anyone watching at packed Endicott College on Sunday afternoon.
Brewster Academy rallied in overtime and defeated St. Thomas More School, 77-75, to win the NEPSAC Class AAA championship.
#1 seed St. Thomas dominated the first half leading, 36-28, after twenty minutes. It only took #3 seed Brewster 3 ½ minutes of second half action to catch the Chancellors, 37-37, on a Chris McCullough jam.
During the rest of the second half, there were eight lead changes and plenty for the fans from both teams to get revved up about. In fact, four of the lead changes were in the last 1 ½ minutes of regulation!
Brewster’s Martez Harrison drew a foul with 2.6 seconds left in regulation and the Bobcats down, 68-67. He made the first and missed the second forcing a five minute overtime.
In OT, STM pushed ahead by three on three occasions (71-68, 73-70, and 75-72 with 1:15 left). But Brewster rallied back each time.
After Chris McCullough drained two free throws, the Bobcats were down by one, 75-74. STM’s next two possessions were turnovers and cost them the championship. In the first one, the Chancellors held the ball for a while and then couldn’t even get a shot getting whistled for a shot-clock violation.
Ron Patterson answered with the shot that won him the MVP trophy afterwards. He drove in from the right and hit a jump shot in the lane to give BA a one-point lead (76-75) with fourteen seconds left.
Plenty of time for TMS to respond but miscue #2 (travel by Amadi Udenyi) messed up that chance.
John Edwards made one-of-two free throws for BA with 3.2 seconds remaining.
Chris Walters heave at the buzzer was wide right and BA had the championship.
Gabe Levin (20 points) led all scorers. If you’re looking for a quick reason why St. Thomas More lost, Gabe’s foul trouble comes to mind. Gabe picked up his 4th foul with 11 ½ minutes left in regulation and lost minutes there. Then he fouled out at the very end of regulation setting up Martez Harrison’s two free throws. To say that STM could have used 6-7 Gabe in OT is an understatement for sure.
Martez Harrison (13 points) tallied all his points after halftime. He went to the basket twice in the last thirty-five seconds of regulation and came away with a layup on the first and the foul shot that tied the score in regulation in the second.
Jared Terrell (18 points) was BA’s top scorer followed by Elijah Macon and Martez Harrison with 13 points each.
Guards Duane Notice (19 points) and Marquis Moore (18 points) had only three three’s between them. They got their points on drives in traffic and foul shots.
Brewster had six dunks during the game and plenty of highlight dunks before the game.
The Chancellors missed nine free throws and the Bobcats eight.
St. Thomas was down, 8-6, before putting a 14-1 segment together and getting up, 20-9, with 9:42 left. Duane Notice and Marquis Moore had long ones during this run.
The Chancellor margin increased to, 29-18, with Dylan Haines and Marquis sinking consecutive 3’s.
The Bobcats came all the way back early in the second half and excitement enveloped the attendees the rest of the way.
The partisans on both sides were active from beginning to end. Good job by the Endicott staff to keep things from getting out of hand.
Brewster Academy (30-5) is located in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. I saw the Bobcats lose to Noah Vonleh and his New Hampton Prep team at BA in December.
St. Thomas More School is in Oakdale, Connecticut. It’s north of New London.
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)