The Trinity Pawling Pride ventured north on Route 22 today for a rematch with the Bears. They entered the Duryee Court where they beat the Bears a week ago. They also were sporting a top five ranking in the A division with their eyes clearly set on the New England Tournament, while we were licking our wounds from a tough week and a half stretch of games.
The Pride showed why they are ranked so high in the A’s as they jumped to an 11-0 lead with three quick three-pointers and a field goal. Berkshire called a quick time out to try to stop the bleeding, which did not seem to help much; TP kept their foot on the pedal, jumping ahead by as many as 19 in the first half. But this resilient bunch of young man sporting Green kept on playing hard, closing the gap to 9 by half time, 36 to 27, which meant that they had actually finished the half with a 27 to 25 run of their own.
The second half saw a re-energized group as they slowly climbed back into the game, closing the gap to 44-37. Then Mike Allen made a two-pointer, 44-39. Chris Gaynor added two foul shots, 44-41. Next came Christopher Cooke’s timely three-pointer; we were tied at 44. Chris Gaynor put up another three-pointer, Berkshire’s lead 47 to 44. TP called time out, but to no avail. It was Gaynor, again, from downtown, 50 to 44, and when the dust cleared, the Bears had a ten-point lead, 57 to 47 with under three minutes to play. It seemed the hoop gods were finally in the Bears’ corner but wait, the momentum switched and TP started their climb back into the game - they are not ranked so high by accident. The score was tied at 59 with fewer than two minutes left, then 61 with under a minute left. With fewer than 20 ticks on the clock, the whistle blew foul against Berkshire, putting TP on the line. Missed shot. Berkshire rebounds with about 11 seconds on the clock, and the coaches decide let them play, no time out. Kyle Kobis fiddled and diddled on top, running the clock down, then exploded down the left side of the lane to take a nice J. Up it went, 3, 2, 1 it hit the back side of the rim and with 0.4 seconds on the clock, Jack Benham tipped it into the hoop from the weak side for the W. Finally, the Magical Mystery Tour broke the jinx, winning by 2. This is a group that truly earned and deserved this win as they have never given up all season and they finally broke through that insurmountable barrier that was neither understood nor defined.
Kyle Kobis scored 27 points with four assists and five rebounds. Chris Gaynor was huge today as his timely shooting helped us take the lead; he had 18 points with three three-pointers, three of them in the second half. Christopher Cooke had six points and five rebounds. Eric Samuel had six and 11 boards, along with some great defense on TP’s best player. Jack Benham clearly was the Player of the Game, and not because of the last second shot, but because of his energy and defense he brought to the floor. Everyone played and contributed positive minutes. Most importantly, it was a nice feeling to finally leave the gym with a hard-fought win. Our last game is this Saturday against AA Wilbraham Monson. Hey, one never knows with this group!