Marcy – Whitesboro’s boys basketball team started five seniors in Tuesday’s Tri-Valley League contest. That experience paid dividends, especially in overtime as the hosts pulled away for a 59-53 win against Utica Notre Dame. Average foul shooting plagued Whitesboro during regulation but making its first 10 free throws in OT was the difference in the end.
“We’re used to it,” Jimmy Bushey said of the pressure. “We play calm and together. Seven of us are seniors and last year we were good playing together.”
Coach Garrett Herthum’s team played together for a solid first half against a very young UND team and built a 27-21 lead. Josh Gregory and Bushey led the way in scoring, but it was Whitesboro’s passing and rebounding that was even better and proved decisive in the first 16 minutes.
Coach Ryan Goux’s Jugglers pulled even midway in the third quarter on a three by Treijen Garrett before Bushey and Gregory scored in the closing moments to get Whitesboro on top 40-35.
That’s when UND starting to press more and it wore down the hosts a bit in the fourth quarter. Riley Davis and Treijen Garrett scored to get UND within one point then Brian Passiatore hit a three on an inbounds play for the hosts to stretch the Whitesboro lead to 43-39. UND’s press then kept the hosts from scoring a field goal for a few minutes. Nate Salisbury scored on a great drive to the basket with 2:57 to play to get Whitesboro on top 45-42, but UND answered with a floater by Jerome Brabham then a three by the senior standout for a 47-45 lead with 1:22 to play.
The hosts overcame a travel by Bushey to get a chance to tie the game and Salisbury quickly did with 1:13 to play on a fast break. UND held the ball for the last shot as time wound down, but good defense by the hosts denied them one and it stayed 47-47 heading into OT.
Passiatore quickly put Herthum’s team ahead with two free throws and Gregory and Passiatore again made two at the line to make it a 53-47 lead. Brabham halved his team’s deficit with a 3-point play with 1:38 to go but Ryan McAndrew quickly answered with two foul shots for the hosts to ice the win.
“We’ve been through it,” Gregory said of the pressure. “We’re not the most athletic, but skillwise we come together. And we don’t panic.”
Brabham led UND with 22 points while Gregory had 19 to pace the Whitesboro (2-1).
UND 5 16 14 12 6 – 53
W’boro 10 17 13 7 12 – 59
UND: Jaylen Warmack 9, Jerome Brabham 22, Patrick Fitzgerald 1, Mike Boyer 0, Dante Griffin 3, Treijen Garrett 7, Sam Bianco 0, Todd Manolescu 5, Izaiah Frazier-Garrett 2, Joe Quinn 0, Joe Flynt 0, Riley Davis 2.
Whitesboro: Josh Gregory 19, Josh Harvey 0, Nate Salisbury 13, Brian Passiatore 11, Noah Britt 0, Ryan McAndrew 3, Kevin Brennan 2, Jake Scott 0, Matt Mutton 0, Jimmy Bushey 11.