The Pinewood School boys basketball team didn’t panic after blowing an 11-point lead in the third quarter – or even after allowing King’s Academy to tie the game in the final second of regulation Friday night. The host Panthers persevered, dominating overtime to prevail 57-48.
“We’ve been in these situations all year long,” said coach Mani Messy, whose team has played three overtime games and six decided by five or fewer points. “We used our experience, and that helped.”
Pinewood outscored King’s 7-0 in the four extra minutes, despite making just one shot from the field – a drive by Ryan Brice that drew a foul resulting in a three-point play. Brice scored four of his 16 points in overtime; Greg Naumann accounted for the rest on free throws to finish with a team-high 20 points.
“We were poised in OT and made key shots while also getting key stops,” Messy said.
That wasn’t the case in the third quarter, when the Panthers were outscored 20-8. Pinewood made just three of its 16 shots – including only one of nine from beyond the arc – while the Knights connected on all but two shots. By quarter’s end, King’s held a 44-41 advantage.
“I think we got away from what we were doing,” Messy said. “Our long shots weren’t falling and we got away from trying to get the easy ones, crashing the boards and getting to the free-throw line. We just reminded them to stay aggressive and grind it out, and it led to overtime.”
The Panthers scored the first five points of the fourth quarter. Naumann made a baseline floater and Nathan Beak drained a top-of-the-key 3.
The Knights tied the game at 46 on Jordan Duncan’s drive with 4:55 remaining, but they wouldn’t score again until the last play of the fourth. Pinewood – up two thanks to Beak’s layin off a steal more than four minutes earlier – had just committed a five-second violation trying to throw the ball in from midcourt. That left King’s with 2.2 seconds to get off a shot. Duncan lobbed an inbound pass to Ryan White, who collected the ball in the low post and turned toward the basket for a layin as time expired.
“Against Sacred Heart, the same thing happened to us,” said Messy, whose team lost that game 56-52, “so we’ve been in that position before.”
Only this time, the Panthers escaped with a win – improving to 7-1 in the West Bay Athletic League and 14-3 overall.
“We’ll take it,” a relieved Messy said.
Pinewood is scheduled to visit Eastside Prep 5 p.m. Friday.
2013 boys basketball: Pinewood School - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier