McGuire Buzzer Beater Lifts Comets Past Knights
By Craig Olson - Barrett, MN
High school basketball fans saw a game for the ages on Thursday night as the Hillcrest Comets scored a basket by Sean McGuire with 1.6 seconds left to break a 54-54 tie to defeat West Central Area 56-54 in Barrett.
The WCA Knights held a 25-22 halftime lead. Kyler Newman led all scorers with 26 points including 16 in the second half. Sean McGuire joined Newman in double figures with 11 points.
Knight Coach Kraig Hunter said, "This was a well played game by both teams. There were numerous lead changes throughout the game as both teams responded with big buckets time after time. Both teams played in your face defense and worked extremely hard. We can't ask anymore out of our guys. I am proud of how we defended and I am proud how we executed on offense. We played well enough to win. Our achilles heal was going 10-26 from the free throw line."
The Knights shot 19-39 from the floor for 49% while holding the Comets to 34% on 19-56 shooting. The Knights did a good job attacking the rim as they held a big advantage in free throw attempts but only connected on 10-26 for 38%. The Comets made 11-15 for 73%. From 3-point land the Knights were 6-18 for 33% and Hillcrest was 7-25 for 28%.
The rebounds were fairly close with 33 for Hillcrest to 32 for the Knights.
The Knights were led by Logan Paulson with 14 points and he added 4 rebounds. Aaron Wiese had 11 points and led the team with 7 rebounds. Brady Sabolik had a good all around floor game with 10 points, 6 assists,5 rebounds, and 4 steals. Jake Combs added 9 points and 4 rebounds, Ross Anderson also had a good floor game with 6 points, 3 rebounds, and 8 assists. Rounding out the Knights scoring were Alex Endreson with 3 points and Caden Fernholz with 1.
"It was a great opening night game for us in Barrett tonight," commented Hillcrest Head Coach Gregg Preston. "The Knights played very well defensively, executed on offense, and hit some big shots late in the game. Our guys were able to get some great looks and knock them down late in the game in crucial situations. Our offensive execution was better in the second half. Kyler Newman had 16 second half points and delivered a great pass to Sean McGuire in the paint to finish the game. I also thought that several of our guys worked hard on the offensive glass, especially in the second half."
Comet scoring: Kyler Newman 26, Sean McGuire 11, Daniel Preston 8, Reggie Undseth 5, Sam Isaac 3, Colin Erickson 2, Tommy Thompson 1.
Hunter concluded, "It is tough losing both of our first two games on buzzer beaters, but resiliency is one of those lessons you learn playing sports and I believe our kids are resilient and will come out and continue to compete."