By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr.
The 3rd Annual Jack DuBois Holiday boys’ basketball tournament at Shore Regional featured a thrilling double overtime championship game. Playing in the finals on December 30, where the host Blue Devils of Shore Regional and the Lions of Lacey High School.
With 16 seconds to play in regulation time and up 55-52, Shore Regional was taking the ball out under the Lacey basket. It was in the hands of Tyler Jackson who made a pass to a teammate, however, the ball went out of bounds and Lacey had the ball at half court. They passed the ball in bounds, and Jackson was called for a foul. The Blue Devils had the foul to give, so it did not send the Lacey player to the foul line. However, the Lions called a timeout to draft up a last effort play. When they resumed, a Lacey player took a shot from deep from the corner and it was nothing but net as the horn sounded sending the game to overtime.
Four additional minutes were put on the clock. Gianni Fiumefreddo of Shore Regional, drove hard to the Lions hoop and made the basket giving the Devils a 57-55 lead.
Lacey came right back and tied the game with a bucket at 57. Fiumefreddo took another shot and missed, Lacey grabbed the rebound and raced down and took a shot and missed. Officials called Bryce Crowe of Shore Regional for a foul under the basket with 1:34 left in overtime. Lacey made both shots and were up 60-57.
Racing up court was Crowe where he took a shot, but missed and Lacey had the rebound. They took a shot with 49 seconds to play, up by two points and missed. Dom DiFiore of Shore Regional powered in the rebound and passed to Fiumefreddo who hit a big three-point basket to even the score at 60 with 11.3 seconds to play.
Lacey was unable to score within those 11 seconds and a second overtime was needed. Shore controlled the tip, and Joe Santi passed to DiFiore who made the basket giving the Devils a 62-60 lead. On the next defensive play for the Blue Devils, Santi drew the offensive charge by a Lacey player, sending Santi to the foul line. He made all his shots.
The officials then called Santi for his fifth foul of the game, which caused his ejection. That was with 3:07 to play in the second overtime, Lacey made both shots and were down 65-62. Officials then hit Crowe with a foul with 1:57 to play and Lacey was now within one point, down 67-66 to the Blue Devils.
That was, however, the last point that the Lions would score all night. Matt Decker hit the next basket for the Blue Devils giving them a 69-66 lead. Lacey took a shot and missed, Fiumefreddo rebounded and passed to a breaking Jackson who was fouled on the play. He injured his ankle and had to come out of the game while the trainer checked him over.
Erik Mazur, head coach at Shore, selected Andrew Barham to shoot the foul shots. Under pressure, Barham made both giving his squad a 71-66 lead.
With 1:14 to play, Crowe stole the ball and was fouled. He made both of his foul shots giving Shore a 73-66 lead.
Lacey had one last attempt, taking a shot with 60 seconds left on the clock and missed. Grabbing the rebound was DiFiore with 56.1 to play and Shore called a timeout.
When the game resumed, the ball was passed to Jackson who was immediately fouled. He missed the first, but made the second giving Shore a 74-66 lead and that is how the game ended.
Five Blue Devil players scored in double digits. Leading all was Santi with 19, DiFiore scored 14, Fiumefreddo and Crowe each had 13, and Jackson finished with 11.
With the victory, Shore improved to 6-1 overall, while Lacey drops to 3-2.
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