Comets Prevail In Round Two (video)23:47 PM January 04, 2019
Last Saturday night the EP Panthers and the Newman Comets met in the title game of the Warkins Classic in Erie. The Comets were able to pull away halfway through the fourth quarter to take a 50-37 win. As fate would have it, the two teams met for a rematch on Friday night in Erie for a TRAC East game. The game was close throughout with the Panthers erasing a six-point deficit over the last three minutes to force overtime. Newman’s Devon House took over in the extra period scoring eight points to give the Comets a 56-51 win.
Coach Ryan Winckler felt the Panthers were well-prepared for the rematch saying he thought his team dictated the tempo most of the night and were able to execute their game plan. Unfortunately, too many missed shots in the lane and foul trouble doomed the Panthers.
Neither team was able to get much going on offensively in the first quarter with Newman holding a 9-8 advantage after eight minutes. The one notable moment was the Panther’s Eric Robinson picking up his second personal foul with .5 seconds remaining in the period.
Both teams forced the offense inside the lane as the Panthers had no three-pointers (0/12) for the contest and Newman booking only two (2/15). Robinson came off the bench at the 5:40 mark of the second quarter and sparked the Panther offense with a put back on a Harrison Ames three-point miss to give the EP a 14-9 lead. House, who booked 30 points on the night, and freshman Marcus Williams worked together to give Newman back the lead, 15-14 with 3 ½ minutes left in the first half. The teams then traded buckets to go to halftime with the Comets leading 19-18.
Newman managed to build a five-point advantage midway through the third quarter, but Josh Hammer, who had 26 points, was able to knife his way into the line on several occasions to get the Panthers back within two. Once again, the end of the quarter was not kind to Eric Robinson as he collected his third foul with 41 seconds remaining forcing him to the bench once again as the Comets closed out the quarter with a 30-26 lead.
Winckler rolled the dice and reinserted Robinson to start the fourth quarter but it took only 45 seconds for him to pick up his fourth foul trying to defend House on a post move. EP managed to tie the game at 32 with 5:10 remaining on an inside move by Robinson. The Panthers chances for the win took a big blow just 90 seconds later as Robinson was called for his fifth foul.
Newman quickly reestablished the six-point lead, but Hammer was able to cut the margin to one following a drive that resulted in a three-point play with 1:24 remaining to make it 40-39. A House lay in was answered by a driving bucket by Brady Anderson with :45 remaining. After a Newman free throw
Travis Coleman drove around three defenders to put in the tying score with :15 remaining. A Newman turnover gave the Panthers a chance for the win, but a long-range shot was off the mark and sent the game into overtime.
Coleman gave the Panthers a lead to start the extra period with the teams trading scores as Josh Hammer and Devon House each hit shots. Newman regained the lead as House hit a 3-point shot and then were able to hit free throws the last 2 minutes, while the Panthers could not get a bucket to fall.
Newman moves to 15-1 on the year with the panther falling to 9-5. The travel to Galesburg on Saturday to take on Monmouth United. Josh Hammer needs just 17 points to reach the 1,000 point plateau.
The Frosh-Soph team lost 46-41 in their contest. Dawson Haggard had 22 points for EP, The Panthers managed to grab a lead with 3:32 left in the fourth quarter but the Comets were able to hit some clutch shots down the stretch to seal the win.
Below is video of the final 90 seconds of the game and the OT period, There are also comments from Coach Winckler and Eric Robinson.
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