The Penn Yan boys’ basketball team followed up its win over county-rival Marcus Whitman with a nail-biting 49-48 victory against World of Inquiry Monday (Dec. 3) evening. The win pushed Penn Yan’s record to 3-0 on the young season.
The team jumped out to a 13-4 lead in the first quarter as junior Colton Smith scored 4 points, one off a nifty assist from junior Brennan Prather and another off a rebound. Penn Yan led 13-8 at the end of the first quarter with a chance to add to the score but sophomore Mason Kuver’s three point shot rattled out at the buzzer.
The Mustangs held the lead throughout the second quarter as points became tougher to get for the squad. Several shots from within four feet of the basket would not fall. After a Penn Yan timeout with 1:45 to play in the half, junior Peter Nicholson drained a basket as the shot clock sounded. Nicholson followed it up with a bucket with 2.7 seconds left and was fouled on the play. He made the free throw to give Penn Yan a 24-20 halftime lead.
The Mustangs built a 32-24 lead in the third quarter, but the scrappy Griffins from Rochester would not go away easily, closing the game to 35-30 to begin the final quarter. Penn Yan would lead by seven at a couple points in the final stanza, but the Griffins kept chipping away and took the lead at 44-43 with 54 seconds left on the clock.
With 43 seconds left, senior Connor Fingar was fouled, putting him on the line for two shots. Fingar calmly drained both shots, giving Penn Yan a 45-44 lead. Fingar then drew a charge on Griffins’ big man Bobby Searight on the ensuing action. Senior guard Peyton Schuck was fouled and hit two clutch free throws with 23.9 seconds remaining and made both free throws to give the Mustangs a 47-44 lead. Two foul shots by the Griffins made it 47-46 and forced a timeout by Penn Yan with 17.5 seconds left in the game.
Fingar was fouled twice in the remaining seconds and made two of four free throws to push the score to 49-46. Every one of those points were important as Griffins forward Michael Thomas, much to the chagrin of his teammates who were looking for a three, hit a two point bucket as time expired, giving the Penn Yan boys the win.
Penn Yan 52 Marcus Whitman 47
The team played Marcus Whitman Saturday night in Penn Yan and came away with a 52-47 win, a score that could have been much greater if the Mustangs had hit their free throws. Coach Marty Gibson is confident his boys will get on track from the charity stripe, believing the issue is more mental than physical.
“We need to be positive,” Gibson explained, saying that just saying a word like “yes” or “swish” as a mantra before they shoot could help instill confidence. “We have to definitely break it down,” Gibson said. “They need to concentrate when they’re shooting. We need to make it more game-like, put more kids around the line,” Gibson said of when they shoot free throws in practice. The team missed 20 free throws in the contest, going 14 of 34 from the foul line.
Colton Smith led the team with 13 points, while Peter Nicholson and Conner Fingar added 12 points apiece. Peyton Schuck scored in double figures with 10 points of his own.
Penn Yan 66 Bath 40
The Mustangs defeated Bath Haverling 66-40 Nov. 29 at home. Connor Fingar and Peter Nicholson scored 12 points each and Peyton Schuck scored 10.
Hammondsport 56 Dundee 44
The Dundee boys’ basketball team opened up its season with a loss to Hammondsport last Thursday, 56-44.
The team was led by Austin Gibson who made three 3-pointers on his way to 16 points overall. Michael Hand was the only other Scotsman in double figures with 10 points of his own. Peyton Boudinot and Nick McCurry added 5 points apiece. The Scots play tonight at home against Romulus to open up league play.