The second-seeded Batavia High Blue Devils rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime before dropping a 63-58 decision against visiting Newark tonight in the quarterfinals of the Section 5 Class B1 boys’ basketball tournament.
A long two-point basket by junior guard Zach Gilebarto with 6.6 seconds left in regulation tied the score at 48-48 and, following a miss at the buzzer by Newark’s Josh Green, the teams moved into the four-minute OT.
The Blue Devils took a 50-48 lead in the opening seconds of the extra period on a layup by senior center Camden White, but it was short-lived as senior guard Dustin Case nailed a three-pointer to put the Reds up 51-50.
Newark went ahead 53-50 on a put-back by senior forward Devin Agosto before Gilberto came through again with another three-pointer to knot things up at 53-53.
Two free throws and a short jumper by Agosto gave the visitors a 57-53 edge but White sank a layup at the 1:20 mark to pull BHS within two.
The Reds made it 59-55 on a pair of free throws by senior forward Blade Case, before Gilberto responded with a three-point play on a driving layup and foul shot to make it 59-58 with 12.9 seconds to play.
Batavia fouled Case who calmly made two free throws to put Newark up 61-58 and, following timeouts by both teams, a three-point shot by senior guard Caeden White bounced off the rim.
A pair of free throws by Green with 1.6 seconds left closed out the scoring and enabled Newark to avenge a 48-47 regular-season loss to Batavia on Feb. 11 in Newark.
In tonight's rematch, Newark took a 14-10 lead after the first quarter -- Camden White scored seven of his game-high 17 points to keep Batavia within striking distance – before Batavia responded to take a 26-22 halftime advantage behind five points each from junior guard Alex Hale and junior forward Stone Siverling.
A pair of three-point shots by Blade Case in the third quarter sparked the Reds to a 36-31 lead as Batavia struggled from the field, hitting just two baskets in the period.
The Newark lead ballooned to 45-35 with 4:22 left in the final stanza before the home team staged a furious comeback.
A free throw by Gilberto and two by Camden White after an offensive rebound made it 45-38. A steal resulted in two more free throws by Gilberto, before Green sank two free throws for Newark to put the score at 47-40 with only 1:06 on the clock.
Batavia wasn’t finished, however, as Gilberto sank a three-pointer from the top of the key to pull his team within four. A free throw by Blade Case made it 48-43 but a corner three by Hale with 25 seconds left gave Batavia life.
Hale committed his fifth foul to stop the clock and the strategy worked when Newark missed at the foul line, giving Batavia another chance and setting the stage for Gilebarto’s clutch basket just inside the three-point line to tie the score at 48-48 and push the contest into overtime.
Gilebarto scored 16, Hale 14 and Siverling nine for Coach Buddy Brasky’s squad, which finished its season at 14-7 and played the final game on the BHS gymnasium floor as a new one is scheduled to go in on July 1.
For Newark, Green led the way with 16 while Blade Case had 14, Agosto 14 and Dustin Case 12.
The seventh-seeded Reds, 12-10, advance to the semifinals against No. 3 Waterloo. The other semifinal match pits No. 1 Geneva against No. 5 Hornell. The semis are scheduled for Tuesday night.
Top photo: Batavia's Zach Gilebarto launches a game-tying long shot with 6.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime.
Photos by Steve Ognibene. To view or purchase prints, click here.
Below, Camden White scores inside for Batavia.
Below, Max Rapone fights for a loose ball.
Below, Newark's Devin Agosto drives to the basket.
Below, the Blue Zoo cheering on their Blue Devils.
Below, Alex Hale gets ahead of the field for a layup.
Below, faces tell the story as time runs out after a hard-fought game.