MEN'S BASKETBALL Freshman lifts Westminster
The Titans, beaten earlier this year by Grove City, took charge in overtime.
NEW WILMINGTON -- After losing to Grove City by six points in their first meeting, Westminster's men's basketball team had something to prove in the rematch on Saturday.
Although it turned out to be a difficult task, the Titans defended their home territory with a 110-102 win in overtime.
"It is always a good game when these two teams get together," said Titans coach Larry Ondako. "I think they start four seniors and a junior, plus they have a lot of experience coming off the bench. I was expecting a good game."
The Wolverines (11-9, 4-2) trailed 88-85, but J.D. Collar sent the game into the extra period when he drained a 3-point shot with two seconds remaining in regulation.
Hannon has career game
However, outstanding shooting by freshman Craig Hannon (Union High) led the Westminster to its win. In overtime, Hannon scored 13 of his career-high 26 points.
"It was just a matter of my coming out to play hard," said Hannon. "Early in the game, I wasn't hitting my shots because I was taking some bad ones. In the overtime, I came in, got into a rhythm, got some open looks and was able to hit them."
"It is certainly exciting for the future when I look out and watch Craig Hannon and Brian Urso knocking down the shots in the overtime," said Ondako. "We just got a lot of good play from a bunch of different people, and that might have been the key to our being able to win the game."
Grove City senior Ryan Eller scored 12 points in overtime and finished with a career-high 41, He also had four rebounds and seven assists.
He became the first Grove City player in 10 years to reach 40 points for a game, and it pushed his career total to 1,005.
"We played with so much intensity and great effort for most of the game," Eller said. "But it was the little things that we were harping on all week that hurt us, like offensive rebounding and staying in front of our guys."
Change of plans
As the game progressed, the Wolverine approach on offense was to get the ball inside to Eller and let him do his thing.
"In the first part of the game, we were just going to try to get it into the high post to Phil [Bushre] and then cut off him," said Eller. "When I started scoring more, [coach Steve Lamie] told me to post up under the hoop more."
Lamie said the difference in the outcome was two-fold.
"I thought their ability to penetrate our defense and rebound on the offensive end were the two big keys to them winning this game," he said. "I thought they executed their offense very well."
Bushre finished with 27 points and Matt Phillips scored 11. For the Titans, Dom Joseph had 19 points, Pat O'Connor added 12 and Urso scored 11.