(Reading) Denied a chance to win the game in regulation, Reading’s Kenny Reed (26 points) wasn’t denied in overtime.
The Rocket senior twisted in for a layup just before the buzzer to oust Beverly, 69-67, in the first round of Division 2 North basketball on Monday night at Reading.
A Beverly turnover (Felix Zamot travel after getting trapped in front of the Beverly bench) with 14.6 seconds left kept the Panthers from setting up for the final shot and gave Reading a chance to organize for the game-deciding last shot.
The Rockets came out of the timeout and put the ball into the hands of Reed at midcourt with eleven seconds left and cleared out to give him room to operate. With Curtis Manuel (17 points) in tight coverage, Reed spun in from the right and beat the buzzer with the game-winning shot.
Earlier, this same Kenny Reed was fouled in regulation at the buzzer, or so we thought, with the score tied at 61. A discussion among the officials and the supervisor of officials, that lasted ten minutes, ended with the ruling that the foul had been committed after the game had ended. This led to overtime. Believe me, the most relieved player in Reading at that announcement was Zach Zigglebaum who had been charged with the foul.
Few players have ever been “iced” the way Kenny Reed was during the excruciating delay. Even an amateur student of body language can detect in the photo that he was feeling the pressure as the delay went on-and-on. Could he have made the free throw to win the game, with two chances at it? We’ll never know.
At the start of the game Reading ran twelve straight after a couple of treys by Justin Marrs (14 points) had given Beverly an 11-4 lead. The Rockets led 21-15 at the end of the first quarter and Kenny Reed already had fifteen points. Six of the points came on 3’s, one that looked to be NBA range.
Reading built the lead to 31-24 at the half and there was little reason to think that Beverly had the firepower and defense to make a game of this one in the second half.
Turned out they did. Michael Clayton (13 points) and Justin Marrs combined for Beverly’s next seventeen points. Clayton’s put-back tied the score at 41-41 with a minute left in the third quarter.
Reading started fast in the final quarter as Kenny Reed and then Trey Jones found room for layups. Trailing 49-43, the Panthers took an eight-point run, with Curtis Manuel adding the last two baskets and Beverly led, 51-49, with five minutes left in regulation.
There were seven lead changes over the next three minutes. Trey Jones (16 points) put a three, a steal, and a layup into this late-game segment and gave Reading a 4-point lead (61-57) with two minutes to go.
Reading did not score again in regulation while Beverly got a layup from Michael Clayton and a Rocket turnover and a layup with 13 seconds left from Curtis Manuel to tie the score. Then there was the debated foul at the buzzer before the game went into overtime.
In the overtime, Jerry-Ellis Williams (15 points) gave Reading an early 65-61 lead with a layup and a jump shot. Beverly answered with a Clayton three and a free throw from Zach Zigglebaum. Brian Borque (10 points) hit a jumper. Curtis Manuel answered in kind.
Trey Jones missed a shot. Beverly turned the ball over. This set the stage for Reed’s game-winner at the buzzer in overtime.