Oxbow bounces Wildcats in playdown
by Randy Capitani
Mar 08, 2018 | 1782 views | 0 0 comments | 67 67 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Twin Valley’s Paul Johnson, left, looks to make a move on Leland & Gray’s Michael Fitzpartrick during Friday’s game. The Wildcats beat the Rebels 42-34 in the final regular season game for both schools.
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WHITINGHAM- The Twin Valley Middle High School boys’ varsity basketball team hosted a first-round playoff game Tuesday evening, as Oxbow visited the Wildcats for a battle between eight and nine seeds. True to form, the teams played like evenly matched opponents, with the visiting Olympians eventually coming out on top in overtime 57-46.

The game was a seesaw affair, with lead changes back and forth throughout the game. Twin Valley jumped out to an early 8-1 lead as Dylan Howe and Hayden Reed put down three-pointers and Logan Park scored on a layup. But, as would be the story all evening, Oxbow rallied to draw within one, at 8-7. By the end of the quarter, Twin Valley held a 12-9 lead.

The teams traded scores throughout the second quarter as well. Izaak Park and Logan Park each had layups, and Josh Carpenter-O’Hearn scored on a strong move in the paint for a basket.

But Oxbow hung around, and knotted the score at 22 on two free throws by Bryce Ilsley. Hayden Reed put the Wildcats up at the intermission, dropping in a layup at the buzzer for a 24-22 lead.

After halftime, Oxbow came out with a 7-0 run to take a 29-24 lead, but this time it was Twin Valley’s turn to battle back. At one point, Twin Valley stretched out to a seven-point lead, but again the Olympians showed some grit and reeled the Wildcats back in.

In the fourth quarter, the team traded baskets and made their runs. Twin Valley went up by three points with under a minute left when Izaak Park sank two free throws. Oxbow came down looking to tie, and sophomore guard Tegan McKnelly found himself alone on the right wing. He hesitated, then took a shot from behind the three-point arc that found its mark with about 25 seconds left in the game. The score was knotted at 46.

Twin Valley was not done yet. After bringing the ball up to midcourt, Wildcat coach Chris Brown took a timeout to set up a play for the final shot. After the timeout, the Wildcats inbounded the ball, and set up sophomore forward Jack McHale for a pull up jumper. His shot was a little short, and the rebound was pulled down by Oxbow. They were unable to get a shot off, however, and regulation time expired.

In the overtime, Oxbow came out strong and the Wildcats didn’t recover. The Olympians scored 11 points and held the Wildcats scoreless.

“It wasn’t for lack of effort,” said Brown. “We knew overtime was going to be tough.”

Izaak Park led the Wildcats in scoring with 13 points. Logan Park had 10. Dylan Howe had four blocked shots, but he fouled out with less than three minutes in the game. That hurt the Twin Valley defense and allowed the Oxbow comeback at the end.

“It was a great game,” said Brown. He said McKnelly’s three was the difference in the game. “I’ll probably never forget that shot. If he misses and we come down with the rebound, we probably win the game.”

Twin Valley ended their season with a 11-10 record. Oxbow moves on, and will play top-seeded Windsor on Friday.

TV 42, L&G 34

WHITINGHAM- Twin Valley beat Leland & Gray 42-34 on Friday, March 2, in boys’ varsity basketball action. It was the final game of the season for both teams. It was senior night for the Wildcats, and coach Chris Brown was complimentary of his upperclassmen in their last game.

“The seniors did a really good job,” said Brown. “They did some things to get us off to a good start. But we couldn’t pull away in that game, even though we dominated on defense. But we made enough plays down the stretch.”
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