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Bears Clip East Hampton in Thriller

January 25, 2017

Another Saturday, another thriller inside Swanson Gymnasium.

On Saturday night the Bears took down Class A East Hampton, 47-45, in the second straight Saturday night home game that came down to the final possession. A week earlier the Brook topped Rancho Solano Prep, 68-65, in overtime.

The Bears came charging out of the gates, building an early 7-0 lead behind consecutive scores from Jyles Etienne and a three-point play from John Eshirow. The Bonackers responded with 9 straight points of their own to take a two-point edge. From that point on, neither team would hold more than a 4-point lead. The Bears would tie the game at 9-9 with two Harry Zhu free throws and then at 11-11 thanks to a James Toney putback after he skied for the offensive rebound. East Hampton responded with a 3-pointer, but Etienne closed the quarter with a bucket as the Blue & White trailed 13-14 after one.

The Bears took a 19-16 lead early in the second quarter after scores from Toney, Mac Bohuny, and Emil Vaughn. The Bonackers built a 26-22 lead in the waning minutes of the first half, but a bank shot from Seamus Scanlon and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Zhu left the Bears down 27-28 at the break.

After a John Eshirow free throw tied the game in the opening minute of the second half the Bears would never trail again, but they would endure four more ties as the Bonackers refused to give the Blue and White any breathing room. Every time the Bears landed a punch, the East Enders responded with a key score to keep the game close. Zhu drained another 3-pointer to give the Bears a 31-28 lead, but the Bonackers tied the game with a 3-pointer of their own. Vaughn and Etienne scored on back-to-back possessions to build a 36-32 cushion, but East Hampton splashed a 3-pointer to cut it back to one. Etienne finished inside again, but the visitors scored in the closing seconds to trail 37-38 heading into the final quarter.

Bohuny drove to the rim and scored to push the Bear lead to 40-37 on the opening possession, but East Hampton tied the game on a free throw and a bucket. Two free throws from Bohuny and another finish by Etienne gave the Bears a 44-40 advantage, but the Bonackers tied the game with a 4-0 spurt of their own midway through the frame. Finally, Etienne gave the Bears the lead for good on a putback with 1:33 remaining, but the game was far from over. After a big defensive stop, the Bears had possession with under 30 seconds remaining, but the Bonackers stole the ball and were fouled on the fast break, putting them at the line with a chance to tie the game with just 22.9 seconds on the clock. They connected on one of two shots and Bohuny secured the rebound before drawing a foul of his own. The senior hit on one of two shots to give the Bears a 47-45 lead with 10.1 seconds remaining, needing one final defensive stop for the win.

The Bonackers placed the ball in the hands of point guard Jack Reese who drove to the basket and elevated for the layup. A ball that seemed destined to fall rolled off the rim and safely into the arms of Zhu with 0.2 seconds left, giving the Bears the win.

Etienne led all scorers with 14 while Bohuny (10 points), Zhu (9), Vaughn (4), Eshirow (4), Toney (4), and Scanlon (2) rounded out the scoring. It was a quality non-league victory for the Brook who found a way without the services of starting point guard Brandon Providence who was battling the flu.

This was the Bears’ first match-up with East Hampton since 1995.

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