Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorns Athletics
Lethbridge – It came down to the final seconds, but the Lethbridge Pronghorns prevailed with a come from behind 90-88 win over the MacEwan Griffins to complete the weekend sweep and start the season 2-0.
Down 88-87 with 20-seconds to play, Pronghorn Zac Overwater took the ball hard to the hoop, making the lay-up and taking the foul. Following the made free throw from Overwater, the 'Horns were up 2 with 12.4-seconds to go.
The 'Horns defence made it tough on the Griffins in that final possession but Keith Gerdes had a good look at the buzzer to win the game with a three but it would not fall.
Dejon Burdeaux and Elliot Sentance led the way for the 'Horns with 27 and 24 points respectively, while Overwater had 13 points, none more important than his final three. Thadius Galvez led the Griffins with 23 points and Denzel James chipped in the 17 points.
For the second night in a row, the opening half was close throughout, the difference tonight was both teams had their offences clicking. The Griffins held a 23-21 lead after the first quarter with both teams shooting better than 50%. The 'Horns were 7 for 13 in the quarter but committed seven turnovers, while the Griffins shot the ball even better sitting at 56% (9-16).
The hot shooting continued in the second, but the 'Horns would take care of the ball better and took the lead into the half, but the lead was only two points at 45-43. The 'Horns hit 16 of 28 shots in the half for a 57% shooting percentage and the Griffins were a hair behind the 'Horns percentage at 54.5% (18-33).
Burdeaux and Sentance did the bulk of the scoring in the opening half with 13 and 12 points respectively. Tyler Wise led the way for the Griffins with 12 first half points.
Out of the half, both teams continued to shoot the ball well and both put up more than 20 points in the quarter. Every time it looked like the 'Horns were going to take control of the game, the Griffins responded.
With just over three minutes remaining in the third, the 'Horns pushed the lead to a game high 14 points, the Griffins closed on a 12-4 run, including two clutch free throws by Thadius Glavez on a 'Horns foul at the buzzer.
With one quarter to play, the 'Horns held a slim 74-68 lead and the Griffins momentum carried over into the early going of the fourth. Adonis Monfort-Palomino scored five straight points for the Griffins to cut the 'Horns lead to a single point.
Glavez would give the Griffins the lead on the next possession setting up a back and forth fourth quarter. The lead change on four consecutive possessions, with neither team willing to give an inch, setting up an exciting final minutes.
Next week the 'Horns face southern Alberta Rival Mount Royal Cougars in a home-and-home series. The first game is in Calgary Thursday night, with the back half of the series going Saturday night at the 1st Choice Savings Centre. The Griffins will return home for their home opener, hosting the Regina Cougars.