(Byfield MA) Governor’s Academy took the lead for good with 7+ minutes left and defeated Pingree School, 53-46, on Saturday afternoon in non-league action.
There were five lead changes in the first half and the Highlanders (12-7) had a slim, 29-27, advantage at the half.
The turnover-prone Gov’s (13 in the first half) survived in the first half because junior Matt Peart (15 points) was a force at both ends. Matt blocked shots and intimidated Pingree penetrators while getting eleven of his points in the first sixteen minutes.
Matt Peart converted a rebound to tie the score at 35-35 with just under twelve minutes left in the second half. However, Kyle Lentini (16 points) was part of a Pingree push that had them ahead, 40-37, with 10:12 remaining.
Last year the Gov’s won, 58-57, at Pingree and this game looked, at this point, as if it was heading in the same direction.
It didn’t work out that way.
Sometimes there’s a basket in the game that turns the tide. I think it was the go-ahead-for-good basket by freshman Nick Osarenren. The Govs were very patient on most of their second-half possessions but on this key one, they were almost a little too patient. Nick ended up with the ball on the left baseline and with everyone on the GA bench yelling for him to shoot he did and swished a jump shot as the 35-second clock went off.
Nick’s shot put GA (4-10) in front, 41-40, with 7+ minutes left. The Highlanders had no scoring answers the rest of the way. The visitors from Hamilton made just one outside shot (Justin Assad) in the second half.
The Govs put an 8-2 segment together and increased their advantage to 49-42 with just under three minutes left.
Pingree could not get closer than five points the rest of the way even though GA made only two of seven free throws in the final minute.
I was impressed with the play of GA point guard Kam Nobles. Kam was the stabilizer against a persistent Pingree press and was the key to GA’s clock-eating offense down the stretch. Kam collected eleven points including two 3’s.
Johnny Spears was back for Pingree and made a number of passes that “wowed” the sizable crowd.
Pingree benefited from a scorebook miscue early in the game. Kyle Lentini ended up with a couple of extra free throws as a result.
Kyle had Pingree’s only three in the game.
Justin Assad had twelve points for Pingree.
Pingree’s next game is at Providence Country Day School on Friday, February 7th.
Governor’s will be at Brooks in their next action on Wednesday (7PM).
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)