LAST-SECOND THREE SINKS BISON AGAINST BALDWIN-WALLACE
Nov. 28 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Baldwin-Wallace’s Kyle Brown hit the game-winning three-pointer with just two seconds remaining to give the Yellow Jackets (2-2) a hard-fought 65-62 victory over the Bethany men’s basketball team (2-3) Saturday afternoon at Hummel Field House.
It was the second three-pointer in the final minute for Brown, who also drained a triple to tie the score at 62 with 44 ticks on the clock. That came one possession after Bison junior Dustin Opalka (Cortland, Ohio/Lakeview) gave the home team a three-point advantage with a trey of his own with 58 seconds to play. It capped a second-half comeback from Bethany, who saw a halftime lead disappear under a 17-6 spurt by the Yellow Jackets to open the second half that gave the visitors a 45-38 lead.
That run was answered by an 11-2 surge by Bethany, which featured five points from Opalka and four from senior Jonas Ankrom (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan). After two free throws by sophomore Reggie Baptiste (Brooklyn, N.Y./Pacific) gave the Green and White a 49-47 lead, the contest had four ties and three lead changes down the stretch to set up the thrilling finish.
The game didn’t look like it would be that close in the first half, as Bethany erased an early three-point deficit with a 20-7 run. Ankrom and senior Jay Lyonett (Weirton, W.Va./Brooke) both had five during the surge and Opalka tallied four, including a jumper at the 2:19 mark of the first half to swell the Bison’s cushion to 30-20. However, late threes from Brown helped the Yellow Jackets trim the deficit before halftime. After Opalka’s score, he swished a trey to start an 8-2 run to close the half, which was capped with another Brown triple just before the halftime horn to cut the BC margin down to 32-28 at the break.
Opalka led all scorers in the game with a career-high 15 and also handed out four assists. Freshman Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) was the only other Bison in double figures with 11 and totaled four steals, while also matching senior Joe Testa (Amity, Pa./Trinity) for the team-lead with seven rebounds. Ankrom pitched in off the bench with nine markers and six rebounds, including five of Bethany’s 17 offensive boards.
Brown’s late heroics helped him total 14 points, which tied Kevin Gall for the Yellow Jackets’ high. Also reaching double digits was Promis Cabbil with 12 and Zane Meeder with 10.
The Bison will be back in action Wednesday when they travel to Westminster for both teams’ PAC opener. Last year, Bethany and the Titans played three down-to-the-wire games that were decided by a total of nine points, with BC winning two, including a 71-67 decision at home in the PAC Tournament semifinals. Wednesday’s tip-off in New Wilmington is scheduled for 8 p.m.