Beccard, Posen run by Atlanta in overtime
POSEN-It was an old fashioned North Star League showdown in Posen on Thursday, when the Posen boys basketball team picked up a 51-40 overtime win Atlanta after a 36-36 deadlock in regulation.
“We had a long lay off so it was a bit of an ugly game. It all came down to what team made the plays. We didn’t make the plays we needed to make and, all the credit in the world to Posen, they did,” Atlanta coach Ryan Marlatt said.
The Huskies (1-3, 1-1 NSL) ran into trouble against the Vikings in overtime when Leon Beccard hit two baskets in 30 seconds with three minutes left to pull Posen ahead 40-36.
The Vikings (6-1, 3-0 NSL) then ran half and full court presses against the Huskies for the rest of the period to prevent them from hitting any field goals.
Atlanta’s only points in overtime came from four free throws. By comparison, the Vikings picked up three field goals and nine free throws after the Huskies were forced to foul.
Beccard scored five points in overtime and 15 points total.
“I didn’t start out that good, but I played a lot better by the end of the game. We played real good as a team and we had a real good team effort,” Beccard said.
The first four quarters saw the Huskies and the Vikings fighting each other hard defensively and shutting down their opponent’s offensive rushes.
“Offensively, we’ve played better games, but we played defense really well tonight,” Posen coach Matt Ponik said.
Posen focused defensively on creating turnovers and snagging rebounds by utilizing the height of John Zaborney and Beccard under the hoop.
The Huskies utilized double teams to shut down the offensive attack of Nick Hincka, relying heavily on the height and presence of Jacob Chambers.
“(Chambers) is one of our better players. He’s really good defensively and his job was to hold back the Hincka kid. He fouled out late in overtime and that was a problem. We’re definitely a different team with him on the floor,” Marlatt said.
The first period ended deadlocked 8-8. Hincka picked up six of Posen’s points while Jacob Dobbyn scored four of Atlanta’s.
Hincka ended the night with 15 points.
The second quarter was heavily back and forth until Chambers hit a bucket to take a 14-13 lead over Posen with 3:01 left to play in the half. The Huskies shut down the Vikings for the rest of the half to push into a 17-13 lead.
Hincka changed the tempo of the game immediately in the third quarter by hitting Posen’s first and only three pointer 30 seconds in to narrow Atlanta’s lead to 17-16.
Hincka then hit a pair of free throws a minute later while Beccard hit a basket 10 seconds later to pull the Vikings into a 20-17 lead.
Posen’s defensive pressure held Atlanta scoreless for three minutes until Josh Barrett broke the ice with a free throw to narrow the Vikings’ lead to 20-18.
Dobbyn then hit Atlanta’s first field goal of the third period 10 seconds later off a rebound from Barrett’s second free throw attempt to to tie it up at 20-20.
A Chambers trey with three and a half minutes left in the third pulled the game to a 24-23 Posen lead, but the Vikings ended the third quarter ahead 28-25.
Atlanta’s Sam Burcicki started the fourth with his first bucket of the night one minute in, at which point Chambers started to pile on the points. He hit a bucket a minute later, was fouled and got the hard three by hitting the free throw.
Chambers picked up three points the same way 30 seconds later to give the Huskies a 33-31 lead with 5:32 left in the game.
Beccard picked up two buckets in the fourth, but the rest of Posen’s points came off four out of seven free throws. Atlanta hit three out of of six in the fourth.
A few free throw attempts later in the fourth gave Atlanta the chance to take a one point lead, but the shots didn’t want to fall. Posen had no better luck under the net, when a prime chance to score with 2.2 seconds left ended when Atlanta got the ball after a fair ball situation.
Chambers desperation three pointer from three-quarters court missed the basket, forcing overtime and giving Posen the chance to take the win.
“Both teams did really well defensively. I feel like we both struggled offensively and I give Atlanta a lot of credit, they have a great team. We were just able to get squeeze by them tonight,” Ponik said.
Posen hosts Wolverine on Thursday while Atlanta hosts Au Gres on Monday.
POSEN (51): B. Sukas 1-0-0-2; M. Wisniewski 1-2-4-4; T. Sharpe 2-3-5-8; L. Beccard 7-1-3-15; N. Hincka 4-6-6-15; C. Lewandowski 3-0-0-6; J. Zaborney 0-1-4-1.
ATLANTA (40): S. Burcicki 2-0-0-4; J. Barrett 1-2-3-4; T. Juergens 2-1-2-5; J. Webster 1-2-3-4; J. Dobbyn 2-4-6-8; S. Teets 0-1-2-1; J. Chambers 4-5-8-14.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.