The Bears ventured down to The Gunnery to face the Highlanders on their home court. After several good days of practice earlier in the week, hopes were high for a win against another Class B competitor. The team came out with all cylinders firing; the press was working; the shots were falling; the rebounds were all taking friendly bounces, all of which led to our best half of the year and a 42 - 23 lead at intermission.
Would the second half provide more of the same? It seemed so when the team ran the first play of the second half, resulting in a nice three by Kyle Kobis, followed by a quick turn over and a bucket for a 47 - 23 lead. Not so fast. The paint-peeling pep talk given by the Gunnery coach began to kick in and the Highlanders began to climb their way back into the game. An inspirational come back by the Highlanders was, unfortunately, coupled with a real stinker of a second half by the Bears. Bottom line: the score was finally tied at 51 as the shots would not fall for the us. The team kept their composure and regained the lead when Mike Allen showed ice in his veins, making several clutch free throws and a nice bucket to boot, to inch Berkshire back into the lead, 57 to 54, with four ticks left on the clock. With a three-point lead, things were looking good for the Bears, but guess what? The player who the play was not really designed for ended up with the ball and drove to the baseline; as he was falling out of bounds with just a second left on the clock, he launched a prayer and swish-horn-OT. Not to worry. Kyle Kobis took over the overtime with some stingy defense, helping us win our first game, 68-61, as Gunnery only was allowed 4 points in the extra stanza.
Line scores for the game saw Kyle Kobis put up 27, go 8 for 8 from the foul line, and play some stellar D; Eric Samuel followed with a 13-point effort, which also included several blocks; “Mr. Clutch” Mike Allen added nine, as did Chris Cooke. Everyone got some playing time and they all played hard. Now exams begin, so it’s time to focus on the books before we head down to play in the Southall Holiday tournament at Loomis.