By Doug Chapin
GIRARD — After missing two good opportunities to win in regulation, Girard High overcame a three-point deficit in overtime and posted a 75-71 boys basketball victory Saturday night over Warren JFK.
Adam Charles led a balanced Girard scoring attack with 21 points. Joe Augustine added 16 points, Donte DelBene had 14, A.J. Weibel 11 and Mat Pagano seven.
JFK was led by Pat Hull with 25 points, Deonte Stubbs with 15, Tyler Protiva with 10 and Brendan Cox with nine. Stubbs left the game midway through the third period with a foot or ankle injury. Protiva also grabbed seven rebounds and Carl Broadbent contributed five assists and five rebounds. Hull also had five assists.
In the final five seconds of regulation, with the score tied at 64, Augustine missed a wide open 3-pointer then Joe Cavalier missed a put-back in heavy traffic under the hoop.
To make matters worse for the Indians (2-4), Hull converted a three-point play on JFK’s first possession of overtime.
“In the overtime we went to a group that hasn’t played together much,” Girard coach Nick Cochran said. “It was four seniors and a junior and I couldn’t be happier for the seniors to step up. Especially Adam, he’s a leader in football and his leadership today really paid off.
“Carlo Eggleston, who never played a basketball game [before this season] in his life, stepped up there big and did a lot of good things rebounding and defensively.”
An inside bucket by Augustine with 2:37 remaining in overtime put Girard ahead for good at 69-67. Charles followed with a hoop at the 1:54 mark for a four-point lead and the Indians held on from there.
Girard jumped out to a 20-9 lead after one quarter, but Kennedy (0-5) gradually got back into the game. The Eagles trailed 31-27 at halftime and held a 45-43 lead after three quarters.
Saturday was not the first experience JFK has had this young season with close defeats.
“We continue to reiterate to our kids that we are making progress,” first-year JFK coach Brent Villella said. “The kids are working so hard and they are making giant steps and making them quickly. But it’s hard for a 15- or 16-year-old kid to realize they’re making progress if they don’t have a win or two in the column.
“This is our second overtime game and it makes three games we’ve lost by two possessions or less and a fourth game we lost by eight points that was much closer than that. But without a doubt we’re making progress.”