Eagles nip Wildcats in 2nd OT
MANDATA - Craig Reichard knows the deal.
So do his players.
Mired in a four-game losing streak heading into Monday night's Tri-Valley League matchup at home with Halifax, Reichard's Line Mountain Eagles desperately needed a victory. Their playoff hopes couldn't afford another hit.
They got it. ... But it wasn't easy.
First, they blew an eight-point lead in the first quarter. Then, they wasted a 10-point margin they held at the end of the third.
Finally, after Halifax twice took them into overtime periods, they got what they wanted, and needed.
With Coltin Hunsberger scoring five of his team-high 23 points in the second extra period, the Eagles forged a 65-59 victory.
"We needed it," Reichard said. "We have a lot of winnable games coming up and we couldn't let this one slip away.
"Every game is a fight for us. We have goals, and these kids know what they have to do. This makes us 6-7, and we know we need 11."
Hunsberger's performance was necessary to match the hot hand of Halifax's Hunter Hilinski, who scored a game-high 24 points and also had high-game honors in rebounds with 16.
Leading 40-30 after three quarters, the Eagles' offense pretty much went on hiatus in the fourth when, with the Wildcats hot in their offensive end, Line Mountain managed only three points.
Then, in the first overtime period, a pair of Codi Morris free throws put Line Mountain up 52-49 with 35 seconds remaining, only to have Koby Bowman's 3-pointer with 21 ticks left force the second extra period.
In that one, Hunsberger scored the first five points, then Bill Breinich hit a three to put the Eagles up 60-57.
Halifax scored just one more field goal, a running jumper from Hilinski, who scored 10 of his 24 in the two overtime periods.
Down the stretch, Breinich hit two free throws, Cole Rickert made a layup following a steal and Dillan Michael hit the front end of a two-shot foul to ice the outcome.
"My guys hung on," Reichard said. "We let a couple leads get away from us, but we hit some shots down the stretch when we had to."
It was Line Mountain's third overtime game of the season, second in double OT.
Earlier, they lost to Upper Dauphin in two extra periods, and they have an overtime win over Millersburg.
HALIFAX (59) - Miller 3 3-3 10, Bowman 2 0-0 6, Osenbach 0 0-0 0, Reitz 7 2-2 16, Hilinski 11 0-0 24, Paul 0 0-0 0, Davis 1 1-2 3. Totals 24 6-10 59.
LINE MOUNTAIN (65) - Breinich 6 4-5 17, Rickert 5 0-0 11, Michael 1 1-2 3, Hunsberger 8 3-4 23, Morris 2 2-3 6, Weiler 2 0-0 5. Totals 24 10-14 65.
3-point FGs: Hilinski 2, Bowman 2, Miller, Hunsberger 4, Weiler, Rickert, Breinich.