By Brandon Schuman-
The Comets pulled it out in the nick of time.
With an intense buzzer beater by Penn Manor Senior, Landon Alexcih the Penn Manor Comets were able to clip the Hempfield Black Knights 53-52 in overtime Tuesday night.
It was a back and forth night with Penn Manor and Hempfield trading blows throughout the game.
It all started with Penn Manor creaming the Black Knights in the first quarter leading by 12 at one point in the quarter.
Marc Summy came out ready to rumble early in the game by hitting three of the Comets’ first four shots.
Hempfield responded in the second quarter by outscoring the Comets 12-8 in the period. That left the Comets up 27-25 at the end of the half.
After the half, the Black Knights kept their momentum from the third quarter by starting the second half on a 7-0 run. This put the Black Knights up five points over the Comets. Penn Manor out scored Hempfield 10-4 the rest of the way in the third to regain their one point lead going into the final stanza.
The hard fought fourth quarter was a microcosm of the entire game. There were many peaks and valleys for both teams. With the Comets up three, and 8.9 seconds left in the game Penn Manor senior, David Burch tied up Hempfield’s star Drew Johnson by wrestling successfully for the ball. This caused a jump ball from which the Comets regained possession.
Summy was fouled with less than eight seconds left on the clock causing play to be stopped for the foul shots.
Summy missed his first shot which Hempfield rebound and drove down the court. Hempfield senior Mark Mangold took the ball at half court and nailed a solid three-point bomb as the buzzer sounded to send the game into overtime. Hempfield’s student section erupted as the shot fell.
Overtime did not change from the pattern of the game with Penn Manor and Hempfield swapping the lead back and forth. With less than fifteen seconds on the clock, and the Comets trailing by two, Penn Manor drove the ball past half court and Penn Manor Head Coach Charlie Detz called a time out.
With only 10.2 seconds remaining of play in overtime Penn Manor passed the ball in to Marc Summy. Summy took the ball to the top of the key where he was stopped cold by the Black Knight defense. Undeterred he quickly dished the ball to team mate Landon Alexcih. Alexcih dribbled the ball to the left corner and drilled a step back three pointer as time expired to put the Comets ahead one final time 53-52.