Forget the ferocious slam-dunks, the twine-threading jump shots catapulted well beyond the three-point line. The free throw was instrumental in the Peninsula men’s comeback victory.
The Pirates overcame an eight-point Shoreline lead with just over five minutes remaining and topped the Dolphins 87-83 in overtime on Jan. 26.
Peninsula coach Lance Von Vogt said he wasn’t surprised that his team battled back from the late deficit.
“We’ve responded to those situations in the past,” Von Vogt said. “It wasn’t our best night; we found a way to win.”
Peninsula (7-1 in division, 12-5 overall) and Shoreline exchanged long-range jumpers and physical drives to the basket in a tightly contested first half.
The Dolphins (3-4 in division, 10-7 overall) led 40-39 after the first period but their advantage could have been greater if not for the hustle and determination of Peninsula point guard Sammeon Waller.
With just over a minute and a-half remaining in the opening period, Shoreline’s Sean Jones stole the ball and appeared to be headed for an easy, breakaway bucket. As Jones elevated to the basket for a layup, Waller simply took the ball out of the 6-foot, 6-inch forward’s grasp.
“We were a little passive in attacking the zone early in the shot clock,” Von Vogt said.
Peninsula’s troubles allowed Shoreline to build a lead in the closing minutes of the second stanza.
With just over five minutes to play in the game, Shoreline’s Dontae Davis netted an interior jump shot over DeShaun Freeman, extending the Dolphins’ advantage to 68-60, the largest lead during any point of the game.
Peninsula cut the margin in half with two free throws each from Anthony Williams and Freeman in the next minute.
With the Pirates still trailing by four, 73-69, Sammeon Waller was fouled on a three-point attempt, sending him to the line with the opportunity to make it a one-basket game.
Waller netted the first two tries, bringing Peninsula within two scores with 1:36 to play.
Freeman’s jumper left of the key with just under a minute remaining sent the game to overtime, tied at 73-73.
Peninsula’s Thad Vinson was 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the last 25 seconds of overtime, securing the win for the Pirates and staving off the Dolphins’ late flurry of five points over eight seconds of play.
Waller led Peninsula with 22 points and seven assists while Mitrell Clark added 21 points.
Zachery Kelsh dominated the interior for Shoreline, scoring 24 points and collecting 10 rebounds. Jones netted 19 points.
The Pirates will enjoy their longest period between division games before hosting the Olympic Rangers (0-8 in division, 1-14 overall) at 7 p.m. tonight, Feb. 2.
Reach Ryan Hueter at email@example.com.