Outlaws defeat Falcons in buzzer-beater on the hardwood
Last updated 1/16/2024 at 10:12am
The Outlaws boys basketball squad defeated the visiting Elmira Falcons 55-53 on Monday, January 8, with a layup from Landon Scott at the buzzer.
In the first quarter, the score went back-and-forth in the first quarter with several lead changes. With 1:30 left Austin Dean made a driving layup to tie it up 13-13. On the next possession, Dean stole the ball, and dished it off to Oliver Bernhardt who scored the layup. Bernhardt was fouled on the shot, made the free throw, and took the Outlaws to a 16-13 lead. Elmira hit one of two free throws with just under a minute left in the period, and Brody Fischer wrapped up the first quarter scoring with a three-pointer that put the Outlaws on top 19-14 at the end of the period. The Outlaws caused eight Falcons turnovers that resulted in 11 of the Outlaws’ 19 points.
Sisters led the entire second quarter, and outscored the Falcons 15-12. Kale Gardner scored the Outlaws’ first eight points of the period on driving layups and a jumper, and Landon Scott scored the final seven points to give the Outlaws a 34-26 lead at the half.
Diego Silva and Scott scored the Outlaws first four points of the third period, but then Elmira scored 12 consecutive points and tied the game at 38-38. The score stayed close, and then with two seconds left in the quarter Gardner made a lay-up to bring the Outlaws to within one point at 43-44.
Gardner grabbed his own rebound for a put-back to start the fourth-quarter scoring and regain the lead for Sisters at 45-44. There were several lead changes in the first four minutes and the game remained tight. With approximately two and a half minutes left in the game, Scott took a Gardner pass and made a strong baseline drive for the layup and tied it up 51-51.
Gardner pushed the Outlaws’ lead to two points a minute later when he took a Garrett Sager pass in the opposite corner and made a strong baseline drive for the layup. The clock ticked down, and with just 6.8 seconds left the Outlaws were called for a foul. Elmira made both shots from the charity stripe and the contest was knotted up at 53-53.
Gardner inbounded the ball from half-court to Sager, who immediately passed it back to Gardner, who raced up the floor and found a wide open Scott under the basket. Scott made the layup as the buzzer sounded, and fans were on their feet as the Outlaws recorded the two-point victory.
Scoring leaders for the Outlaws were Gardner and Scott. Gardner finished the night with 26 points, six rebounds, and three assists, and Scott followed with 15 points and seven rebounds.
“We faced a lot of adversity this game and missed some easy looks at the rim,” said Scott. “We also didn’t shoot well from the three, but as a team we stayed strong mentally and kept our heads up, which allowed us to come through in the end. I’m proud of the way our team fought late in the fourth.”
Gardner added, “I was glad we got the win. We went through some adversity, after being down by foul, and getting a technical, but we stuck with it and didn’t give up. Our team never gives up.”
Coach Chad Rush told The Nugget that the win was a great testament to the growth the Outlaws have made as a team.
“After giving up a 12 point lead, and seeing Elmira take a lead during that time, this team could have been so discouraged and just given up. Earlier in the season I don’t know if we would have had the mental toughness to recover from something like that,” he said. “But tonight, the players did a great job of staying with it and never letting Elmira get too far out of reach. The defense sunk in and held Elmira to just one field goal in the final period, which was the reason we were able to have the opportunity to get the victory the way we did.
“The last play of the game was so exciting to see when Kale hit Landen under the basket for the winning points,” added Rush. “This was a true team victory in many aspects.”
The Outlaws were to host Siuslaw at home on Friday, January 12, but the game was cancelled due to inclement weather.
Sisters will play at Creswell on Wednesday, January 17, and then play at home against Harrisburg on Friday.