SUNDAY, FEB. 16, 2014

Area men: Whitworth rally one for the ages

In a game for the ages, the Whitworth Pirates men’s basketball team somehow trudged its way out of sure defeat to take the game to overtime and eventually steal a 105-101 victory over George Fox.

Down 11 points with under a minute to play, the Pirates somehow plundered enough points to give senior Dustin McConnell a chance. He buried a step-back 3-pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime on senior night.

“It’s the greatest comeback I’ve ever been a part of,” coach Matt Logie said. “With everything on the line and it being senior night, it’s pretty special.”

Whitworth (18-4, 12-1), which is ranked No. 16 in the Top 25, came out cold and the Bruins (13-8, 6-6) seemingly couldn’t miss.

The Bruins lead by as many as 16 in the first half before the Pirates finally started to hit some shots and claw their way back.

The Bruins shot a blistering 60.6 percent from the field, including 8 of 15 from behind the 3-point line to race to the early lead.

Sean Atkins led the Bruins with 10 first-half points and he finished with 20. While the Pirates turned to freshman guard Kenny Love, who scored 15 points in the first half to lead all scorers. However, Love didn’t score the rest of the way.

While they hit shots later, the guards for Whitworth were especially cold to start the game. Senior guards Robby Douglas, Dustin McConnell and Colton McCargar combined for only nine points on 3-of-12 shooting in the first half.

As a result, Whitworth went into the break down 51-40.

But the Bucs came out swinging behind the hot hand of McCargar, who led all scorers with 22. However, no three points were bigger than McConnell’s as he hit with seconds on the clock to tie the game at 95.

Freshman wing Christian Jurlina hit the first shot in overtime for Whitworth’s first lead of the game. They then outlasted George Fox free throws for the 105-101 victory.

Whitworth had seven players with double digit points, including all three senior guards.

George Fox had five players in double figures including Atkins and Spencer Bolte, who both had 20.

Down 11 points late in the game, Logie said his team refused to give up.

“It was all about weathering the storm,” Logie said. “They kept fighting until the end. Our seniors wouldn’t let us lose. I couldn’t be prouder.”

CC Spokane 82, Columbia Basin 81: Kwinn Hanson tipped in a Sam Druffel miss with 3.4 seconds left and the Sasquatch (17-9, 7-5) escaped with an NWAACC win over the Hawks (15-9, 8-4) at Spokane Falls Community College.

Columbia Basin rallied in the second half, outscoring CCS 44-37, but couldn’t cap the comeback. The loss was the Hawks’ third straight.

Hanson finished with 35 points, 11 rebounds and five steals and Dean Richey added 15 points.

Steven Walter led Columbia Basin with 29 points.

North Idaho 93, Snow 85: Brad Wallace had 27 points and Bryce Leavitt added 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists as the hot-shooting Cardinals (18-11, 5-9) defeated the Badgers (14-13, 5-8) in a Scenic West Athletic Conference game in Coeur d’ Alene.

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