COMSTOCK – Marshall saw its season end in the districts last year on a last-second buzzer beater.
This year, Marshall saw its season threatened on a last-second buzzer beater. However, this time the Redhawks had a second chance to keep their season alive and they made the most of it.
After Pennfield’s Deveaire Todd hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer at the end of regulation to send this game into overtime, Marshall responded by dominating the extra period to stay alive in the postseason.
Marshall outlasted Pennfield, 89-81, in overtime to win this Class B boys basketball district first-round contest at Comstock on Monday.
The Redhawks were beaten last year in the districts by Harper Creek with a shot at the buzzer. This season the same kind of buzzer-beater wasn’t enough to beat them.
“I was thinking about that. Right when that went in I was thinking, oh man, that happened to us last year,” said Marshall senior Drew Devine said. “But we’ve grown from that game last year. Plus, we had a second chance this year. Last year that last-second shot was it, game over, but this time we had a second chance in overtime and we weren’t going to let our season end like that again.”
After Pennfield sent the game into overtime, Marshall controlled the extra period. The Panthers went 1-for-6 from the field in the overtime, while Marshall was able to get eight points from Jacob Brubaker and five points from DeVine.
“It was the kind of game that could have gone either way,” Marshall coach Nicholas Dent said. “Whoever was going to hit that last shot, was going to have the advantage. They hit a huge shot to get the game into overtime. Then we kept our composure and stuck to our plan and found a way to prevail in the overtime. That’s what we have done all season long. We have found a way to win close games and we did that again tonight.”
Pennfield had the momentum in the second half and had the biggest lead enjoyed by either team when the Panthers were up 57-49 with :18 left in the third quarter after back-to-back steals that resulted in back-to-back buckets by Ron Jamierson and Steffen Kinne.
However, DeVine hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the quarter to get Marshall back in the game. That turned out to be a big momentum turn as DeVine would go on to score 11 straight points for Marshall to allow the Redhawks to retake the lead at 62-61 with 5:08 left in the fourth quarter.
DeVine had 33 points to lead Marshall with Brubaker coming up with 30 points and nine rebounds. T.J. Rocco chipped in with nine points and eight rebounds.
“Drew was huge down the stretch, he hit the shots we needed to have,” Dent said.
Marshall held that lead throughout most of the fourth quarter until Pennfield rallied in the final minute to tie the game. Kinne hit a 3-pointer for Pennfield to cut the lead to 74-73 with :25 left. Then after two free throws by Rocco to put the Redhawks up three, the Panthers’ Todd hit his triple to send the game into overtime.
“We felt pretty good with that shot to tie it after we came back from being down, but tip my cap to those guys because they got it done in overtime,” Pennfield coach Steve Grimes said. “That was Marshall last year as juniors when they fell short in the district. We are sitting here in a similar situation where we have almost everybody coming back next year after falling short this year. So we will look to build on this and see if we can improve next year.”
The Panthers’ lone senior starter is Kinne, who finished with 26 points and nine rebounds to lead Pennfield, which ends the season at 12-9. Todd, a junior, had 27 points with Jamierson, also a junior, adding 14 points and eight assists.
Marshall improves to 17-4 with the win and with four senior starters the Redhawks go into the district semifinals to face Parchment on Wednesday.
“I think our senior leadership was huge. They have some young guys, we have a bunch of seniors and we held it together tonight, especially in the overtime,” DeVine said. “It’s awesome that we came out on top, that’s what it is about this time of the year. Win and keep going.”