Boys basketball: Warriors fall to Pomperaug in OT
Jason Hirschauer’s 3-pointer with 3.6 seconds left in overtime snapped a 48-48 tie, sending Pomperaug to a 51-49 win over the Wilton High boys basketball team in Wednesday night’s season opener in Southbury.
The Warriors (0-1) struggled early in the overtime period, missing two inside shots and committing two turnovers, but tied the game at 48-48 with a minute left in OT when Scott Cunningham drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
The Panthers worked the clock down to under 10 seconds and found Hirschauer open in the right corner and he swished the 3-pointer.
Wilton's Nick Kronenberg hit the front end of a one-and-one with 1.4 seconds left and deliberately missed the second shot. After winning a scuffle for the loose ball, Wilton was unable to get off a good shot and the game ended.
“They outplayed us. They out-hustled us. They out-rebounded us. They out-executed us, as well. And that’s on me and the kids, but mostly on me,” said Wilton head coach Joel Geriak. “I told the kids: It’s game one. It’s a non-league game. Learn from it.”
Both teams struggled to get anything to drop in the first half, which ended with Pomperaug up 21-20 when Hirschauer nailed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.
Both teams began to find the range in the third quarter, with Wilton getting 3-pointers from Kyle Maatallah, Cunningham, Ryan Schriber and Zayvion Eusebe — the final three treys off Maatallah feeds — to lead 35-31.
An offensive rebound and pass by Schriber set up Robbie Hermann’s bucket late in the period that made it 37-33 after three quarters.
A layup by Eusebe (off Hermann’s pass) and 3-pointer from the corner by Eusebe gave the Warriors their biggest lead, 42-35, with 4:35 left to play.
Unfortunately Wilton wouldn’t score another field goal the rest of the quarter. The Panthers scored five straight points to make it 42-40 when Will McDonald rebounded his own miss and scored with 2:40 left.
After two free throws by Antonio Brancato gave Wilton a 44-40 lead, Zach McGettigan hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key for Pomperaug that cut the lead to one point with 1:10 left.
A Brancato free throw made it 45-43, and the Panthers got the ball down low to McDonald, their agile 6’5” big body, and he scored off a nice move to tie the game. Wilton had two shots to pull out the win but couldn’t get the ball to drop.
McDonald gave Pomperaug the lead early in overtime off an excellent spin move in the lane and left-handed layup.
Brancato (12 points), Cunningham (11 points) and Eusebe (10 points) all hit in double figures for Wilton.
McDonald led Pomperaug with 18 points, while Hirschauer hit for 15 points and Mario Paniccia had 10 points.
Rounding out Wilton’s scoring were Maatallah (seven points), Schriber (three points), Kyle Phillips (three points), Hermann (two points) and Kronenberg (one point).
Cunningham and Eusebe each had two 3-pointers for the Warriors, with one each by Brancato, Maatallah, Phillips and Schriber.