PERRY - On Tuesday night the home Perry Pirates picked up a big upset win in overtime over the visiting Beachwood Bison by the score of 70 to 68.
Before the game a returning military personnel was honored, who brought back a flag that was flown on a ship in Afghanistan and given to the football team. The football team would send tapes of their games throughout the season to him while he was in Afghanistan.
The Pirates (2-9) were coming into the game with the odds against them. The Bison (12-3) had previously been undefeated in the Chagrin Valley Conference for the last 3 years.
Down only 11-10 in the first quarter number 2 Jake Reid just missed a chance for a four point play for the Pirates on a long thee pointer.
The Bison won the first quarter battle of three pointers though, 3 to 2. But Perry continued to keep it close, so close that after the first quarter of play both teams were all tied up at 15.
In the second quarter of play Perry and Beachwood would go in opposite directions momentum wise. Beachwood seemed to be very flustered in the second quarter, while Perry was playing more poised and fast under pressure to get quick scoring attempts.
Perry led 24 to 21 with 5 minutes and 21 seconds left to go, all a part of an impressive 11-0 run that started when they were down 1 point, 21 to 20.
The Pirates also capitalized on making 12 first half free throws, along with their fast and timely plays on offense.
The white and red Pirates would win the second quarter 23 to 14, to put them up 9 at halftime, 38 to 29.
“Told them at halftime chances are they are going to make their run. We are going to have to respond,” Perry head coach Al Iacofano said.
“We got back to playing solid basketball,” he added.
The third quarter was a different story for both teams. This time it was Perry who struggled and seemed flustered, especially at the end of the third quarter. Beachwood did a good job of upping the intensity right from the start, and ended the third quarter on an impressive 10-1 run.
“The main thing for us is to keep control of the tempo. Pick up the pace, get them to turn over the ball. Get stops and get scores,” Beachwood head coach Joe Mannarino said.
The black and yellow Bison would win the third quarter of play 17-10, to cut the Perry lead to two, now just 48 to 46.
One thing that was working really well for Perry in the first half, but became a second half struggle was their free throw shooting. The Pirates were 12-for-13 from the free throw line in the first half, but only were 5-for-15 in the second half of play.
With only 3 minutes and 56 seconds left to go in the fourth quarter the Pirates held on to a 54-53 lead. The Bison continued to march back and took the 58-57 lead with 1 minute and 49 seconds left to go. Then with 39.1 seconds left they took the lead again 60 to 59.
The game seemed to pull out of Perry’s reach though with just 29.7 seconds left to go when senior Ben Sternberg went inside for a strong take on a layup with a free throw to follow.
“I felt good about it. Ben had a great take and score,” Mannarino said.
But the Pirates didn’t give up. They won a jump ball down 63 to 61 with 16.8 seconds left. Perry would tie the game up at 63 and then Beachwood would miss a buzzer beater to send the game into overtime.
Overtime continued to be a back and forth contest and Perry would win it all when Jake Reid would go up for a wild floater that fell, and give the Pirates the win 70 to 68!
“At first I thought I had an easy layup, and then I adjusted and just chucked up a prayer,” Reid said of his game winning basket.
“I wasn’t surprised. I’ve watched Jake grow. He does that in practice. He’s a big time player,” Iacofano said of Reid.
Reid finished with a big game scoring 16 points, including 1 three pointer, along with 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and 4 assists all for Perry.
“We started off 0-9 and this tells people to not mess with our team,” Reid added.
Also having a big game for Perry was Chad Reed, who especially excelled in the first half of play.
Reed finished with 24 points, including 2 three pointers, along with 8 rebounds all for Perry.
“I had confidence going into the game. I was thinking about the game all day,” Reed said.
“Beating a team who has gone 9-0 in conference, that’s something to be proud of,” he added.
Spencer Kane would score 4 points along with 7 rebounds, and 2 assists, Josh Petrucelli would add 11 points, including 2 three pointers, with 3 rebounds, and 1 assist, Cam Rogers scored 2 points with 1 rebound, and 1 steal, and Jacob Allen had a big game with 14 points, including going 4-for-4 from the free throw line, with 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 block all for Perry.
“We never got wrapped up in a record. Our goal was to play well,” Iacofano said.
As for Beachwood they were led by a balanced Bison effort throughout the whole game. Cameron Thomas scored 11 points with 5 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 assists, Josh Sizemore scored 12 points, 1 three, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and 4 assists, Ben Sternberg added a team high 20 points, 1 three, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 4 assists, Jayson Woodrich scored 10 points, including 3 threes, with 7 rebounds, and 1 steal, and David Somogyi had 9 points on all threes, with 6 rebounds, and 1 assist.
“When we are at our best when we are moving the ball unselfishly. Earlier the ball was sticking in one spot,” Mannarino said.
“This is a great message for our team. Glad this isn’t beginning of March. Plenty of time to grow. Bounce back,” he added.
Perry was 24-for-43 for field goals with 13 turnovers and 13 team fouls. Beachwood was 28-for-53 for field goals with 7 turnovers and 24 team fouls.
Earlier in the nigh Perry also won the junior varsity game by the score of 64 to 49.