Upper Dublin wins 3OT thriller over Wissahickon

LOWER GYWNEDD >> Upper Dublin High head basketball coach Josh Adelman looked like he’d been through the wringer – which in a way he had.

After all, it’s not very often a coach gets to watch his team scramble through two overtimes while making just four of 16 free-throw attempts, then go a perfect 8-for-8 in the third overtime to pull out a victory.

But that’s what Adelman’s Cardinals did Friday night, as John Barrett, Ryan Stover and Jimmy Gallagher knocked down all eight of their free throws in the third overtime period to give the visitors a 57-55 victory in a contest that seemed to not want to end.

“It aged me a lot,” Adelman laughed as his Cardinals celebrated mere yards away. “This is what you get when Upper Dublin plays Wissahickon. We played two close games like this last year.

“But I’m proud of our guys and the way they finished the game.”

The way they started the game wasn’t bad, either, as the Cardinals held Wissahickon scoreless through the first 3:40 of the first quarter and actually led by seven points (10-3) with 1:45 left in the opening stanza.

But the Trojans, who would ultimately finish with more three-point field goals (12) than two-point field goals (8), came back via the triple, closing the opening quarter on a 9-2 run to tie the game and then scrambling from behind again to deadlock it at halftime.

The Trojans managed their first lead of the game when Zach Reiner hit a free throw at the 4:40 mark of the third quarter, but the Cardinals recaptured the lead after three.

Upper Dublin would earn a six-point lead in the latter stages of the fourth quarter, but as they seemed to do all night, the Trojans dialed up a pair of three balls (by Alex Tappen and Shane Ford) to push the game into extra time.

And while the fans, parents and other supporters were chewing their collective fingernails, the Trojans and Cardinals were having a ball.

“It’s always a dogfight when we play Wissahickon,” Barrett said. “The student sections get going back and forth and every possession is big.

“It’s a great time.”

After a scoreless first overtime period, Reiner and Stover managed three points apiece to force a third extra period.

Ultimately, the Cardinals would not collect a single field goal in the third overtime. But their eight free throws proved just enough for victory.

“We put in a lot of work on free throws,” Barrett said. “That helps when you need to make them at crucial times.”

The Trojans answered with three-balls from Reiner and Zach Gelman.

But it would be too little, too late.

“You saw a little bit of everything tonight,” Adelman said. “This was a great high school Friday night game, and the people got their money’s worth.”

“This was a tough one to lose,” said Trojans head coach Kyle Wilson, “It’s tough when you get a night when your shots aren’t going down. “And they made a few more plays than we did.

“I tip my hat to Josh and his team. They did a great job over there.”


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