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Home > Articles > High School Sports > Blues upset Regi with overtime victory

Blues upset Regi with overtime victory

Posted: February 17th, 2015 @ 11:05pm


There was a point Tuesday afternoon, when his players may not have been feeling particularly good about themselves, that Kingston Blues coach Pat Powers delivered a message.

“Trust in your teammates,” Powers implored, his team rapidly falling out of sight of the Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers in their senior quarter-final basketball game. Down by eight points at halftime, the Blues gave up eight of the next 10 points, and trailed the Panthers by 14 midway through the third quarter.

Then something extraordinary happened. KC engineered a comeback that was as quiet as it was dramatic. They slowly clawed their way back into the game, scored eight of the last nine points in the fourth quarter to force overtime, and scored all 11 points of the extra session to claim a 61-50 victory in Regi’s Congregation of Notre Dame Gym.

Regi’s collapse was momentous. After calling time out with 2:47 to play in the fourth quarter—having just scored a basket to stretch their lead to 49-42—the Panthers were outscored 19-1 in the final seven minutes.

“There wasn’t any one play, and it wasn’t even any one guy,” Powers said, “but when we play well, we play really well.”

He alluded to one such occasion this year when the team did not play well, the Blues’ previous game with Regi, when it dropped a 55-39 decision in the first game after the end-of-semester exam break. It was KC’s fourth loss in five games. 

“Their press really hurt us the last time we played so we worked a lot on our press break to get ready for this game,” Powers said.

The key to doing that, he explained, was to get the ball in the hands of his son, Sayer, “because I know he’ll pass.”

That was perhaps the key to the Blues buying into the trust mantra Coach Powers was preaching: When the team’s best player believes his teammates are trustworthy in a double-digit deficit situation, who are any of them not to exhibit the same confidence in each other?

“You know (other teams) are going to look at one or two guys on our team to score, and if they pressure them, our other guys have to be willing to step up and take the shot,” the coach said.

Indeed, in overtime the Blues got two baskets from Robert Cadman, and one from Riyan Kahn, two players who combined to score six points in regulation time. They got four consecutive free throws from Reilly Lacasandile, a player who hadn’t scored a single point in a game where his normally reliable three-point shooting eye deserted him.

“(Other teams) are going to focus on Reilly, they’re going to focus on (Isaac) Foley and they’re going to focus on Sayer,” Powers said. “They’ll kind of forget about the other two guys, and they didn’t hesitate to take the shot. I was really pleased by that.”

Regi scored the first seven points of the game, as KC didn’t score until almost five minutes had been played. The Blues took their first lead at 12-11 early in the second quarter, but Regi immediately took it back and a 7-2 run helped to give the Panthers an eight-point lead at the intermission.

The lead grew to 14 points, and it still stood at 12 going into the final period. As the teams started to trade baskets two for one, the Blues quietly pulled to within five points, but when Regi promptly answered to go back ahead by seven, at 49-42, with less than three minutes to play, there seemed to be no reason for the Panthers to panic.

Then Powers hit a three-point basket and he made one of two free throws on the next trip up the floor. Foley sank two free throws with 1:38 to play. The Blues were trailing by just a point and the Panthers were clearly losing their composure.

They travelled on their subsequent possession and when Emile Flavin scored a layup with 30.6 seconds left, the Blues had their first lead since the early moments of the second quarter, 50-49. Regi called time out with 14.7 seconds left, but though Duncan Lambert missed the shot, Eli Deluzio got the rebound and was fouled trying to put it back up. He made the second of two free throws with 2.6 seconds on the clock to force overtime.

The first two minutes of the four-minute extra session were scoreless, until Kahn scored his basket. Cadman followed and when Powers hit one of two foul shots it became a three-possession game with 50.9 seconds left.

A couple of turnovers—Regi stole the ball on the press but promptly threw it out of bounds, then the Panthers were again called for travelling—led the home team to foul to regain possession but Lacasandile made them pay by sinking four straight foul shots.

Regi coach Ed Kenney called it a game of missed opportunities.

“We played exactly the way we should have,” he said. “I thought the best time that we had was the final two or three minutes of the third quarter. We stretched it out offensively, played inside-out basketball, got some layups.

“We were breaking their pressure without any difficulty and then all of a sudden, in the last three minutes (of the fourth quarter), we had turnovers and travels and that was it. When we were playing well, both physically and mentality, we met KCVI, because they played hard the whole game, but they gave us a push about two minutes, three minutes into the fourth quarter.”

Kenney pointed to one particular sequence early in the final period as being pivotal. The Blues had a long possession and Powers scrambled to get an offensive rebound near the foul line. He got the ball to an open Foley in the corner to his left, and Foley hit the three-point shot. It was the first scoring play of the fourth quarter, and it cut the Regi lead to nine points.

“They started to play more aggressively, physically, and that really hit us mentally,” Kenney said. “What we talked about at the start of the fourth was we had to meet KC’s physical challenge, because they (were going to get) desperate and when they got desperate they played a little harder, and we didn’t meet that, not consistently. That flowed into not meeting the mental challenge after that.”

Kenney recalled an exchange with assistant coach Paul Medeiros when KC had a bit of a 9-3 run late in the third quarter to close to within eight points.

“We looked at each other, and said if they score, we’re going to have to work hard … these are important possessions, and then we scored four or six in a row, but when it went south, it went really south. We just didn’t react physically. They got all the loose balls, they got all the rebounds, they got all the tips—and we didn’t react mentally to that.

“We could have defended better but it was a close enough game that all we had to do was close the deal with some execution and we couldn’t do it.”

KC, which finished fifth in the regular year at 6-4, got 19 points apiece from Powers and Foley. Lambert led all scorers in the losing cause with 21 points, a performance that included 10-for-12 shooting from the free-throw line.

Regi, 6-1 coming out of the exam break, lost three of its last four games.

The Blues will meet regular-season champion Sydenham in a semifinal game Thursday. The Golden Eagles advanced with a 69-26 quarter-final win Tuesday over the Napanee Golden Hawks.

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