Unionville falls to East in overtime, 49-46
● By Richard Gaw
When Unionville's Bo-Furey Bastian nailed a three-pointer at the very end of the Indian's 49-46 overtime loss to visiting West Chester East on Jan. 19, the shot served as a “too little too late” imprint on a game that was going to be decided on the ability to make clutch shots at crucial moments.
The Vikings made those shots in overtime, while Unionville could not.
After battling to a 43-43 tie at the end of regulation, East capitalized on Unionville turnovers in overtime, highlighted by two clutch jumpers by Tym Richardson and Andrew Carr, and two free throws by Ben Delaney, that pushed the Vikings' overall record to 14-2 overall and third place in the Ches-Mont National behind Coatesville and Downingtown West.
While their overall records coming into the game may have been a bit different – Unionville entered with a 10-4 and just a game behind Sun Valley in the Ches-Mont American – Saturday's contest was an evenly matched one, as indicated by a 15-15 tie at the end of the first quarter. The Indians got on the board on a layup by Drew Lenkaitis with 6:20 remaining, and after two free throws by Carr put East up 7-2 with just over five minutes left in the quarter, Unionville responded by a rebound and layup by Lenkaitis, a layup by Furey-Bastian, and a clever display of time-eating dribbling by Connor Ash in the closing seconds of the quarter, that ended with his game-tying layup.
After a four-point effort by Unionville in the second quarter put them behind, 24-19, at halftime, the Indians outscored East 17-11 to take the lead, 36-35, at the end of the third quarter. A few baskets gave East a lead in the early part of the third, but a pair of three-pointers by Logan Shanahan and Wyatt Hockenberry at the two-minute mark pushed the Indians ahead, 32-31. Two Richardson free throws with under a minute left gave East a 35-34 lead, but a beautiful bounce pass from Shanahan to a cutting Furey-Bastian put Unionville up by one at the start of the final quarter.
While the pace of the game for the first three quarters may best be described as patient and purposeful, the last quarter kicked into a frenzied overdrive that ended regulation with no clear winner. In short, it was a trading of baskets from one end of the court to the other -- a pass from Hockenberry to Ash on a breakaway tied the game, 38-38, which was followed by a jumper by Richardson, which was followed by a basket by Carr and returned by a layup by Lenkaitis.
With 52 seconds left in the game and the score tied, 43-43, East called a timeout, but efforts to get the ball into the hands of Carr and Richardson in the closing seconds were interrupted by a strong Unionville defense, which led to a second East timeout with 6.6 left.
On East's in-bounds play, Ash was fouled after stealing the pass, but neither team was in the one-and-one, so Unionville inherited the ball on the sideline. On Unionville's ensuing in-bounds play, the pass was deflected and the Indians were called for a foul, leading to a last-second shot attempt by Richardson that fell short at the buzzer.
Carr led all scorers with 16 points, followed by 11-point efforts by teammates Richardson and Brenden Merten, who gathered a trio of three-pointers. Unionville was led by 14-point games by Furey-Bastian and Lenkaitis, while Hockenberry chipped in nine points for the Indians.
Looking to end their three-game losing streak, Unionville hosted Bishop Shanahan on Jan. 21, Bayard Rustin on Jan. 24, and travels to Great Valley on Jan. 29. Now enjoying a four-game winning streak, East visited Henderson on Jan. 22, hosts league-leading Coatesville on Jan. 24 and plays Avon Grove at home on Jan. 29.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.