(Byfield MA) No one person loses a team game but you’d probably have trouble convincing Amesbury’s Pat Scanlon.
Pat had a great chance at a game winner in the last second of the Indians’ 53-52 loss to Triton on Monday night in Cape Ann League action. His shot rimmed out and the Vikings survived to put to rest a six-game losing streak.
For Amesbury (2-9) the string of losses reaches eight.
This figured to be a tight game with both teams looking for their first victory in 2014 and seeing this matchup as one they could win. It turned out to be a tense contest to say the least especially in the last minute.
Ryan Foley set up Pat Scanlon for a basket in the lane with a remarkable behind-the-back pass to pull Amesbury to within one (53-52) with thirty-nine seconds left.
Triton (4-8) then turned the ball over (Ryan Foley steal) with twenty-five seconds to go. Plenty of time for Amesbury. The Indians, in fact had the ball the rest of the way. Shots in heavy traffic by Jack Fortin and Ryan Foley failed to connect. Then the inbounds play from Fred Halloran to Pat Scanlon failed to get the points needed as the game ended. Close, so very close!
The Vikings relied heavily on the 3-pointer and connected eleven times. Cam Armand and Corey Parsons both cashed in four times from long range. Nick Venora had two and Brad Whitman one.
Amesbury chose to get to the basket as often as possible. Pat Halloran (14 points) and Ryan Foley (10 points) made several successful drives with defenders all over them.
The Indians ran eleven unanswered points in the first quarter to take an 11-3 lead with 3+ minutes left. The Vikings, playing in front of a vocal support group, recovered in the second quarter putting eight straight together to pull in front, 24-22, four minutes before halftime.
There were six lead changes in the exciting second half and neither team led by more than four points.
Amesbury missed three field goal attempts in the last twenty-five seconds but probably even bigger misses were the three front end’s of one-and-one’s by Fred Halloran, Pat Halloran, and Pat Scanlon earlier in that final quarter. Meanwhile, Brad Whitman made both of his free throws with a minute left. Brad’s second made free throw turned out to be the game winner.
Triton would have cringed at their final forty seconds if this game had been lost. Up by a point, they just did not take good care of the ball. If they had they probably would have been fouled and could have added to their lead. Their turnover gave Amesbury a golden chance.
Another Vikings lapse was in Amesbury’s last possession as their defensive breakdown on the inbounds play almost gave away the game-winner to the Indians.
But it was all these near-misses and up-and-down action that made this a terrific game to watch.
And while I think of it, when a team loses by a point you have to go back to what happened to the Indians at the start of the second half. Amesbury was very late getting back after halftime. They never warmed up and came onto the floor not even knowing which end they were defending. As the Indians settled into the wrong end defensively, Triton’s Kevin Clark was left alone to dribble in for an uncontested layup to start the half. Those two points turned out to be huge.
Cam Armand (16 points) and Corey Parsons (14 points) led the Triton scorers.
Jack Fortin had two three’s for Amesbury.
Triton’s next game is Wednesday (6:30PM) hosting Rockport.
Amesbury will travel to North Reading for a 7PM game.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)