Boys basketball takes down Churchill 61–53 in overtime thriller

By Will Gunster

The boys basketball team (9–2) knocked off the Churchill Bulldogs (7–3) 61–53 on Monday night in a thrilling overtime finish.

The night started off horrendously for the Vikes, as the Bulldogs took an early 6–0 lead and looked like they were going to run the Vikes out of the gym. However, a quick and necessary timeout allowed the Vikes to settle down. Thanks to a quality stretch of defensive play and a few consecutive buckets, the Vikes cut the deficit down to just three points. After the first quarter of play, the Bulldogs were clinging onto a 13–10 lead. 

The physical play of the first quarter carried right over into the second frame, as players were diving for every loose ball and colliding on the ground. Each time one team went on a mini scoring run the other team bounced right back and evened things out. Unfortunately for the Vikes, with just seconds remaining on the clock before the half, the Bulldogs connected on a deep three pointer to take a 27–21 lead into halftime.

The third quarter was more of the same, as the Bulldogs transition game continued to wreak havoc on the Vikes defense. After three quarters of play, the Bulldogs had extended their lead to 42–33.

If the Vikes wanted any shot at making the game interesting again they needed to start scoring quickly and in bunches. Luckily, that’s exactly what they did. Senior Hunter Hausman came off the bench and lit a spark for the Vikes. He immediately connected on a pair of deep threes to get the Vikes right back in the game. Building off Hausman’s momentum, the Vikes defense started to put together some quality possessions. Thanks to a pair of three pointers from junior Thomas Farrell and some clutch free throws from senior Preston Kuhn, the Vikes found themselves down just three points with six seconds left to play. After a brief struggle to get the ball across halfcourt, sophomore Titian Derosa found fellow sophomore Evan Brown who connected on a deep three, sending the game to overtime and the crowd into a frenzy. After being down 13 points at one point in the quarter, the Vikes clawed all the way and headed to overtime with the Bulldogs tied at 50.

With the momentum flipped entirely in their favor, the Vikes quickly put the game away in overtime. Kuhn once again cashed in at the charity stripe for his 18th and 19th points of the night. After another quality defensive stop, Farrell found himself wide open on a backdoor cut and collected his 16th point. Brown made one final trip to the free throw line for the Vikes to seal the improbable 61–53 come-from-behind overtime victory.

The Vikes will take on the Watkins Mill Wolverines (0–9) next Tuesday night at 7:15 pm.