Sunday, February 19, 2023

BOYS BASKETBALL: Blue Mountain Clinches Schuylkill League Title Over North Schuylkill

Blue Mountain and North Schuylkill had Martz Hall roaring Friday night as they battled it out on the court for the Schuylkill League Championship.

This was the third meeting of the two teams, with each having one win a piece, so these teams knew each other very well.  The Spartans also had the momentum on their side as the girls' team just won the Girls Championship.  The girls team even stood with their classmates in the student section with the Schuylkill League Gold around their neck to cheer them on.

These teams went shot for shot through the start of the 1st quarter and were tied at 7-7 until North Schuylkill pulled ahead holding a 21-10 lead to close out the quarter.

The Eagles held the Spartans to only 6 points in the 2nd quarter and score 16 of their own to finish out the half 27-26, North Schuylkill leading.

The Spartans took slim lead early and led the Eagles by only 6 points through the third quarter.

At the start of the fourth, North Schuylkill lead 43-37.

Both teams were tied through the fourth until Blue Mountain with 2 1/2 left in the quarter took a 51-49 lead.

North Schuylkill hit a 3-pointer with 1:48 left in the game to lead 52-51.  The Eagles answered back with a 3-pointer of their own and took the lead back 54-52 with just a minute left.

A layup by North Schuylkill's Zane Zulkowski tied the game at 54 with just under a minute left.  

At this point, the noise in Martz Hall was deafening and it seemed as if this game would go into overtime.

With just under 15 seconds left in the game, a Blue Mountain steal, pass to Aiden Grace, and 3-pointer would give the Eagles a 3-point lead with just 6 seconds left.

Spartan Head Coach William Bracey would do a great job getting the ball back downcourt with the use of his remaining time outs to give his players the best position for one final 3-pointer.

With under 3 seconds, the Spartans were able to get one final shot off before the buzzer, but a miss gave the Eagles the win, 57-54.

After the game, Blue Mountain Head Coach Dustin Werdt said "It certainly was worth the price of admission tonight, wasn't it?  What a great game.  I have to commend North Schuylkill.  They fought and played so hard.  I truly believe the two best teams played tonight and it came down to a 3-point game.  I think if we played again, it would have been the same scenario and who knows which team would win it."

The Eagles get a bye for the first round of the 4A District XI Playoffs and are scheduled to play on Tuesday, February 28th, 2023, against the winner of Wilson/Bethlehem Catholic.

North Schuylkill is scheduled to face Pottsville on Friday, February 24th, 2023, at 7:45pm at Blue Mountain.

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