ROYERSFORD >> Nestor Diaz is the youngest member of Spring-Ford’s starting five.
Diaz is a 5-10 guard for the Rams, who are coming off their Pioneer Athletic Conference championship this winter and are now continuing on in the District 1-AAAA playoffs.
On Tuesday night, the sophomore performed well beyond his years and experience in a very clutch situation at Ram Gymnasium. Diaz scored a season-high 13 points and grabbed five rebounds as one of four Rams to reach double figures as 12th-seeded Spring-Ford defeated Central Bucks East, 64-58, in overtime in a 5-8 playback game.
The two teams were locked at 47 at the end of regulation time, setting the stage for the four-minute overtime period.
“We needed him (Diaz) tonight,” said Spring-Ford coach Chris Talley. “He had a lot of rebounds, too. He is a sophomore, and a lot of the rebounds he came up with were in key spots. He came up big.”
Spring-Ford (21-7) advanced to the 5-6 playback final game against Central Bucks West. That game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday evening in Doylestown. Spring-Ford opened up its season with a 54-42 loss to Central Bucks West and will be looking to gain revenge this time around to close their season in District 1 play.
After that, Spring-Ford will be one of 10 squads which will advance to the PIAA State Tournament.
Matt Gnias led the way for Spring-Ford with a team-high 16 points while Nigel Cooke added 15. Cameron Reid scored 11 points and Charles Drummond chipped in with nine.
Diaz canned a pair of 3-pointers with one coming in the first period and the other coming in the third. He also made three 2-pointers and shot 1-for-2 at the free throw line.
CB East’s Tommy Strasburger scored a game-high 18 points, including three 3-pointers. His second trey in the second quarter gave him the school record for 3-pointers made in a season with 114.
Spring-Ford led No. 17 Central Bucks East, 15-10, after one quarter, but the two teams were tied at 20 by halftime. Diaz tallied five points during the third period as the host Rams carried a 38-32 lead into the final eight minutes of regulation time.
He added four points in the fourth stanza, though Spring-Ford was outscored, 15-9, during that stretch, which forced the tie game and created the overtime session.
Diaz scored Spring-Ford’s first field goal of the night on a 3-pointer from the left wing at the 7:15 mark of the first period.
He also nailed a trey from the top of the key with 6:08 showing in the third quarter that triggered an 8-0 run by the Rams. That spark enabled Spring-Ford to hold its six-point lead at the end of the third quarter.
Central Bucks East (15-11) will enter the 7-8 playback final game at Conestoga, which is tentatively slated for Friday night.