By Todd Orodenker
A team that blows a 12-point fourth quarter lead isn’t supposed to win. A team that doesn’t hit a field goal in overtime isn’t supposed to win. The Penncrest Lions were that team.
They still won.
“We stayed together,’ junior big man AJ Taylor said.
Penncrest went 14-of-14 from the free throw line in the extra session and downed Springfield, 58-53, Friday in a Class AAAA District One tournament playback. The Lions advance to play Academy Park in a play-in for a spot in the PIAA state tournament Tuesday. It was inches, and perhaps a decision, from not being there.
Down 37-25 after the third quarter, Kevin McCormick and Springfield (15-10) upped the tempo and shot the lights out to turn the game around. The hosts were up 44-41 with 13.7 seconds left after Jordan Collins hit two free throws. Fifty seconds before that, Penncrest’s Mike Doyle missed a 1-and-1 that could have tied the game.
With his team down to one last shot, this time, he didn’t miss.
Doyle sunk a 3-pointer from the top of the key that bounced several times off the rim before falling through the net. There were 2.4 seconds left. The game was tied. Penncrest was alive.
“We just felt we had to calm down, we were so helter-skelter,’ Penncrest coach Mike Doyle said. “Once we got to overtime, we took a deep breath and we just felt confident.’