By Kenny Varner
WINGATE – It was an electrical performance Tuesday night put on by two Mountain League teams who both refused to lose.
Coming into the contest, the Bald Eagle boys basketball team was looking to take a season sweep of a very talented outside shooting team in Hollidaysburg.
In a game that felt more like a post season contest than a regular season contest, the Eagles were able to hold off the pesky Tigers in an overtime thriller, 54-51.
With the win, the Eagles improve to 11-7 on the season and a season sweep of Hollidaysburg in the process.
The game would come down to the final seconds in overtime play before a the Eagles were able to raise their hand in victory. It would be a victory that Bald Eagle coach Kris Glunt would call a total team win for his players.
“In my opinion, Hollidaysburg is one of the two best teams in the league. To beat them twice and to beat them here on Senior night is a tremendous victory,” said Glunt. “ What I’m proud of is our ability to respond to some adversity. Stick together and just really share the basketball. There were just so many good things happen tonight. I’m real excited for our kids.”
The Eagles would have to fend off numerous long range attacks from 3-point lane by the Tigers who finished with a total of 11 treys.
They did just that with their gritty and gutsy defensive performance and offensive tenacity.
It would be the ground attack of the Eagles versus the air attack of Hollidaysburg.
The game was a back-and forth cliff hanger from the first quarter on as the two styles exchanged numerous momentum shifts during the marathon contest.
Things started to really heat up in the fourth quarter as both teams were trying to take the momentum from the other.
Hollidaysburg went into the stanza leading 39-35.
Bald Eagle would quickly cut into the lead when Tyler Serb went on a back door cut to the basket, hitting the inside put up.
But the Tigers extended its lead back when on the next possession, they got a triple from Carson Rhodes, upping it to 42-37.
But the Eagles defense came up with stop after stop of the Tigers and it led to a small 4-0 run by the Eagles Cam Watkins, putting them to within one at 42-41.
After a Hollidaysburg free throw, the Eagles were able to knit the game at 43. This time the Eagles got the ball down low to Serb for the bucket.
Both teams decided to work the ball around, looking for the sure bucket.
After an exchange of possessions, neither team was able to get the bucket they needed, fittingly, sending the game into overtime.
Bald Eagle took the top off and quickly scored on a lay up by Serb off an assist from Tre Greene.
The Eagles would build up a 4-point lead after two clutch free throws by Watkins, making it a 47-43 game with only 1:32 left in OT.
After a steal and a bucket from Chase Thompson, extending the lead to 49-43, the Tigers hit a clutch Trey by Brady Steiner to cut the lead to just three.
With the triple, the Tigers would call time out to set up their strategy.
Putting on a full court for most of the contest, the Tigers were burned on it on the half court throw in to Blaze Angellotti who took it to the hole and in.
However, the Tigers weren’t done yet.
With 16 ticks left on the clock, Mason Goodman hit a high flying triple, cutting the Eagles lead to just two.
But after hitting one-of-two from the line with 15.0 seconds, Angellotti put his team up by three.
Hollidaysburg worked the ball down in the Bald Eagle side and was able to draw the shooting foul, putting Steiner to the line. Steiner was automatic on both as the Eagles once again saw the Tigers close it to within one.
Bald Eagle was not going to let Hollidaysburg spoil their night as they clinched the game with only seconds remaining on a steal from Thompson and the lay in, cementing the victory.
Offensively, the Eagles were led by Chase Thompson with 16, Cam Watkins with 15, Blaze Angellotti sporting 10 as well as Tyler Serb.