The Cinnaminson boy’s basketball team won a double overtime thriller on Thursday night, topping Riverside in a raucous matchup, 77-74.
It was a much needed victory following Tuesday’s 60-42 loss to Pemberton, and the team now moves to 5-3 on the relatively young season.
“Riverside’s a great and well-coached team,” head coach Mike Fries said. “It was huge to come out tonight, because we need power points for the playoffs. With our division, we don’t really have a night off with Pemberton, Willingboro, Delran who’s undefeated right now, so tonight was huge.”
Both teams came out tonight in a big way tonight. The first half, however, featured some sloppy basketball with numerous unforced turnovers, especially for the Riverside Rams.
A mixture of aggressive play to the basket and great shooting allowed for the Pirates to take advantage, especially from Craig Turner and Conor Bresnahan, who ended the game with 32 and 19 points respectively.
“We were just moving the ball very well, and the ball seemed to end up in my hands, and I was knocking down my shots,” Turner said, following a sensational shooting night in which he sunk eight three pointers.
With Bresnahan attacking the basket for points and rebounds, and Turner knocking down shot after shot, it seemed like the Pirates would end up pulling away for an easy win as the first half ended with a 33-23 Pirate lead.
Turned said of the coach’s haltime message to the team, “He just told us to stay confident, run our sets, play good defense, and the game will be ours.”
“It starts with the defense, and with defense unfortunately in the third and fourth quarter, we gave up so many transition points. We have to work on that,” Fries stated about his pep talk to the team.
As Fries foreshadowed, the Rams were able to beat the Pirate defense time and time again, especially in the quick-moving third quarter.
Riverside’s cheering section very quickly came to life as they cut a 10-point halftime deficit to three by the end of the third frame (47-44). Fortunately for the Pirates though, some nice shooting from Chad Howard kept the game in check.
The fourth quarter is where this classic began to come to a crescendo, with both supporting sides chanting and singing back and forth both during and between playing time.
The Rams were able to continue the momentum into the final quarter as they attacked the basket which is an area that the Pirates seemed to lack in the second half, as they only went to the free throw line twice.
Regardless, more clutch Pirate shooting, capped off by a momentum-killing three by Turner with 1:55 left in the game, allowed this one to move to overtime tied at 59.
The teams would need two nail-biting overtimes to determine a winner in the thriller.
Both teams would continually trade points back and forth throughout the two frames as the gym filled with endless yelling and chants of “Defense”.
Finally, with just 12.5 seconds left in the second overtime and Cinnaminson in the double bonus in a 74-74 game, the Rams fouled JP Rickus and sent him to the line. In a moment of being as clutch as you can get, Rickus sank both and gave the Pirates a two-point lead. Those two points were his only points of the game.
The Pirates would force a turnover and ensuing Rams foul that sent Chad Howard to the line where he would extend the lead to 77-74 with 3.3 seconds left.
Following a timeout, the Rams’ inbounder threw a long pass around half court only to be intercepted by Bresnahan who would run the clock out and lock a 77-74 victory in a hard-fought matchup.
“Hopefully we have our legs, we get some sleep tonight, drink a lot of fluids, and we should be ready for tomorrow, because their psyche’s pretty good right now,” Fries said.
The team will take on divisional foe, Willingboro, on the road tomorrow at 5:15pm. The Chimeras are currently 2-2 and 1-0 within the division.
Craig Turner spoke with confidence in the team’s ability for such a quick turnaround for tomorrow’s matchup.
“We’ll be fine. We’ll rest up and get the game plan for Willingboro and be ready for tomorrow’s game with confidence after this good win.”
Craig Turner – 32
Conor Bresnahan – 19
Chad Howard – 16
Gunner Peterson – 6
John Meekins – 2
JP Rickus – 2
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