College Basketball: King’s Rallies For Overtime Win
WILKES-BARRE — A confident team has the potential to be a dangerous team. And at this point of the season, King’s is both. The Monarchs are also a team that will have the benefit of controlling their own destiny down the stretch thanks to some clutch performances Saturday afternoon.
Joshua Bailey scored on a take to the basket with 1.8 seconds left in regulation, then proceeded to score nine of his 15 points in overtime as the Monarchs defeated Eastern, 96-90, at the Scandlon Gymnasium.
King’s had to go the length of the court near the end of regulation to get the tying basket. Bailey got the ball to the middle of the lane near the top of the key and sank the bucket to tie the game, 84-84.
“We had seven seconds left and called the timeout to set up the out-of-bounds play,” King’s coach J.P. Andrejko said. “I told the guards to get the ball in and attack, then take a look. If they thought they had something, I wanted them to go. We had (Bailey) in the middle and Connor (Callejas) on the wing. The defender can’t leave Connor. (Bailey) saw the opening and made a play. That was just great recognition on his part.”
Bailey, a sophomore guard, kept it going in overtime. After the Monarchs quickly feel behind by four, he hit a jumper and followed it up with a 3-pointer to give King’s the lead for good. Dan Angelo added a 3-pointer, and Bailey iced the game hitting 4 of 6 free throws in the final 33 seconds. Eastern managed two field goals in overtime, the last one coming with 2.8 seconds remaining and the Monarchs comfortably ahead.
“I felt very confident going to overtime,” Andrejko said. “I thought our kids were fresher. I thought (Eastern) was getting tired toward the end of regulation. Five more minutes to play, I thought we had a lot of legs.”
The Monarchs placed four players in double figures, led by Callejas, who finished with 22. Chris Fazzini had 19 points, but more importantly, pulled down a team-best 11 rebounds and chipped in with four assists.
“In the last two weeks, Chris Fazzini has been unbelievable on offense and defense,” Andrejko said. “Confidence is just the whole thing. That is what you want to see this time of year. You don’t want to see kids unsure or hesitating.”
With four games remaining, the Monarchs set themselves up for an interesting stretch run where three of their final four games are at home. The only time they have to leave the Scandlon Gymnasium is for a trip to DeSales on Saturday.
King’s, thanks to its third consecutive win, is now 10-11 overall and 6-4 in the conference. Eastern dropped to 11-10 and 6-4. DeSales and Wilkes are atop the conference standings at 8-2. Misericordia sits one game back at 7-3. King’s will host the Cougars on Wednesday night.
“If we go take care of our own business and do what we have to do, we only have to worry about ourselves and nobody else,” Andrejko said. “You have to take care of the home court. This really sets us up for the next two weeks. The kids have really improved as the year went on and embraced what we are doing. They are playing with such confidence. You want the team to evolve and when you hit February start hitting your stride. The last week or so they are starting to hit a stride.”
Darius Washington, a Holy Redeemer grad, led Eastern with 23 points, and shot 7 of 13 from beyond the 3-point line.
Blet 4 1-3 9, Pena 7 8-14 22, Washington 8 0-1 23, Chapman 7 2-2 19, James 2 2-2 6, Concepcion 0 0-0 0, Peel 0 2-2 2, Duncan 2 3-3 7, Kastens 1 0-0 2, Perez 0 0-0 0. Totals: 31 18-27 90.
Fazzini 7 5-7 19, Tanner 3 0-1 6, Bailey 5 4-6 15, Callejas 6 5-6 22, Millan 6 1-1 16, Angelo 3 0-0 9, Radziak 3 0-0 8, Maloney 0 0-0 0, Mitchell 0 1-2 1. Totals: 33 16-23 96.
Halftime score: Eastern 39, King’s 39
End of regulation: Eastern 84, King’s 84
3-point goals: Washington (7), Chapman (3), Bailey, Callejas (5), Millan (3), Angelo (3), Radziak (2).
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