|NTL BASKETBALL: SAYRE RALLIES FROM 19 DOWN, EDGES TROY, 61-59, IN CLOSING SECONDS ON FREE THROWS BY ESPOSITO (2019-01-11)
Valley Sports Report
TROY — Sayre trailed by 19 points in the final seconds of the third quarter, but rallied — thanks in large part to a 13-1 blitz in the final two minutes — for a 61-59 win over Troy here Friday night in NTL boys basketball action at the Commons Building.
“It was a great game,” said Sayre coach David Gabriel. “I am a very proud coach.”
Junior Corbin Brown had four points for Sayre and seniors Gage Carnrike and James Esposito each knocked down 3-pointers, but Troy was able to take a 15-13 lead into the second quarter.
The Trojans led by as many as nine points, at 27-18 midway through the second quarter, but the Redskins closed the deficit to four points, at 29-25, and trailed 31-26 at the half.
Troy used a 22-7 run in the third quarter to take its biggest lead of the game, at 52-33, with 15 seconds left in the third quarter, but 6-5 sophomore Connor Young drained a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to make it 52-36 heading into the final eight minutes
Young’s 3-pointer triggered a game-ending 28-7 run, including the decisive 13-1 run to end the game.
Carnrike scored eight points and Brown added four in a 12-4 spurt that trimmed the deficit to 56-48 with 3:15 left in the game.
After a bucket by Troy pushed the lead back to 58-48, Carnrike converted an old-fashioned three-point play, then hit a pair of technical free throws to cut the lead to 58-53.
Junior Zach Watkins scored on the ensuing possession resulting from the technical to complete the seven-point possession to further cut into the lead.
After Troy made 1 of 2 free throws to make it 59-55, Esposito canned a 3-pointer to slice the lead to one point, at 59-58.
Moments later, Carnrike grabbed a defensive rebound and was fouled. He made 1 of 2 free throws to tie the game at 59-59.
The Redskins forced a foul, and Esposito was fouled in the closing seconds of the game. He calmly sank both free throws to give Sayre a 61-59 lead.
Esposito got a hand on the in-bounds attempt and the horn sounded to signal Sayre’s win.
Carnrike led Sayre with 21 points, including 16 points at the free-throw line in 21 attempts, eight rebounds and one blocked shot, while Brown had 17 points and three rebounds, and Esposito added 12 points, five rebounds, and two assists.
Watkins chipped in with four points and three rebounds in the win, and Young had four points.
Sayre shot 50 percent (14 of 28) from the field, and 62 percent (28 of 45) from the free-throw line. Troy made 14 of 24 (58 percent) free-throw attempts, and shot just 36 percent (21 of 58) from the field.
Sayre returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Cowanesque Valley.
IN PHOTO: Sayre’s Gage Carnrike.
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