(Byfield) Phillips Academy (Andover) had three chances to tie or defeat Governor’s Academy in the final seven seconds but failed to do either losing, 56-55, at GA on Wednesday afternoon.
Ryan Hartung (21 points) had two free throws with seven seconds left and Big Blue down by one. He had made four straight attempts in the game. Surprisingly, he missed both in crunch time. In the scramble for the rebound, Brendan O’Connell ended up with a shot in the lane that also missed before the ball rolled out of bounds as the game ended.
That’s how close the Govs came to losing this one.
As it turned out, the winning basket was a layup by Joseph Kuo (18 points) on a feed from Duncan Robinson (11 points) with 1:41 remaining. As you can guess, there were plenty of “should of’s” and “could of’s” thereafter including the calamity for Andover in the last seven seconds.
GA (7-3) and Andover (5-7), in the first half, went back-and-forth with nine lead changes. Ryan Hartung (6-5) converted a rebound at the buzzer to give Andover a 28-27 halftime advantage.
Ryan’s late hoop was part of an 11-point Blue run that ended up with them in front, 34-27, early in the second half.
The Govs spent most of the rest of the game closing on the Blue and then falling back. The Blue lead went to eight (48-40) when Ryan Hartung successfully put back his own miss and later was seven (53-46) when Ryan connected on a triple assisted by Labaron Sylvester.
Ryan’s 3-pointer came with 5:20 to go. After that? Almost all downhill for the visitors over the last 5+ minutes. How does two points sound???
While the Blue offense was set on cool the Govs heated up and put an 8-spot on them. Inside work by 6-8 Joseph Kuo netted four points, and was followed by a Frank Barba jumper, and then a breakaway layup by Duncan Robinson off a Blue turnover. Suddenly the Govs had the lead 54-53 with three minutes left.
After two missed free throws (Brendan O’Connell), Sahil Bhaiwala raced off with a breakaway layup to put Phillips Academy on top, 55-54, with two minutes remaining.
This would be PA’s last points and last lead as they suffered a frustrating loss.
Big Thomas Palleschi (6-9/250) tallied twelve for Phillips. His matchup with Joseph Kuo (6-8/180) was fun to watch. In my opinion, PA didn’t work hard enough at getting the ball in to Thomas over the last part of the game – maybe Joseph’s defense had a lot to do with that.
Duncan Robinson added eleven points for the Govs and faced plenty of good defense from Ryan Hartung.
(All the pictures above and below enlarge when you click on them.)