There was plenty of late game drama last night at the Tamaqua Area Athletic Center, as Ryan's Oil & Heating and Vesuvio's both scored game-winning baskets in the final seconds to advance to Wednesday night's Championship Game of the Eastern Schuylkill Recreation Commission (ESRC) winter basketball league.
Vesuvio's was a 59-58 winner thanks to an Ibis Saracina free three with two seconds remaining. Meanwhile, a Joe Schaeffer basket as time expired lifted Ryan's Oil & Heating to a 57-55 victory.
Ryan's, looking for its's fourth consecutive ESRC winter league championship and seventh title in eights years, will take on Vesuvio's at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday night at the Tamaqua Area Athletic Center.
In a nail-biter, Vesuvio's edged Shawn's Construction 59-58 to punch its ticket to next Wednesday's Championship Game.
Shawn's Construction rallied from a 29-25 halftime deficit behind 12 second-half points by Joe Tamagini. Trailing 58-56, Jason Derr converted a driving layup with four seconds left to tie the game at 58-58. However, a foul in the back court with two seconds left sent Vesuvio's to the foul line with a chance to win the game. Ibis Saracina calmly drained the first shot and missed the second to send Vesuvio's home with a one-point victory.
Dan Maguschak led Vesuvio's with 14 points, while Joe Madochick and Naveen Mohuidden netted 12 points apiece.
For Shawn's Construction, Tamagini scored a game-high 16 points, while Tom Toth and Matt Murphy chipped in with 12 and 11 points respectively.
Ryan's Oil & Heating-Batter's Box
For the seventh time in the past eight seasons, Ryan's Oil & Heating has advanced to the Championship Game with a 57-55 victory over Batter's Box.
Ryan's rallied from a 25-21 halftime deficit to set up plenty of drama in the finals seconds. Tied at 55-55, Batter's Box missed two free throws with about 20 seconds left. Following a Ryan's rebound and timeout with 14 seconds remaining, Joe Schaeffer took the inbounds pass and as he drove towards the basket, banked in the game-winning shot as time expired.
Ryan's combined for 12 three-pointers on the night (and only six two-point field goals). Jon Scheuer led Ryan's with a game-high 22 points and five treys. Jeff Peel tacked on 15 points and four three-pointers. Schaefer, who was held scoreless in the first half, end the night with 11 points.
For Batter's Box, Jim Barron scored 13 points and Aaron Mantz added 11 in the loss.
NEXT WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Wednesday, April 10
(at Tamaqua Area Athletic Center)
*** CHAMPIONSHIP GAME ***
7:00 p.m. - Ryan's Oil & Heating vs. Vesuvio's