NEW KNOXVILLE — After a bizarre ending to regulation, the New Knoxville Rangers basketball team defeated the Anna Rockets Saturday night 79-76 in double overtime in a non-league game held at New Knoxville, but the win was not without controversy.
An inadvertent point for the Rockets was put on the scoreboard late in regulation making the score look like a four point lead for the Rockets. Jake Allen hit a three at the buzzer making the apparent score 62-61.
After a discussion at the scorer’s table, it was determined that Anna was given an extra point so both teams went to overtime tied at 61-all.
“It was unfortunate that someone had to lose the game,” Rockets head coach Nate Barhorst said. “I really feel bad for my players out on the court thinking that we were up by four points according to what the scoreboard said. They make a shot and we are still up by one and we win the ball game.
“I knew there was some discrepancy going on at the scorer’s table but nobody verified anything,” Barhorst said. “I guess it comes down to the second overtime and their guys stepped up and Shane Topp coming off the bench and hitting some big shots for them that we didn’t expect or didn’t do anything to stop. It is just frustrating.”
In the first overtime Jake Allen picked up his fifth foul early in the period and after a foul by Ben Kuck put Joel Albers at the line and he made one of two. Forty seconds later he converted on a layup to increase the Anna lead to 64-61 with 2:50 left.
Ben Kuck put one of two free throws in the basket for the Rangers with 2:29 left, but Carter Bensman answered with a layup for Anna. Andrew Arnett hit a jumper with 1:23 left, but after a Ranger foul, Bensman hit two free throws to put the Rockets in the lead 68-64.
Arnett came down again and nailed a bomb with 55 seconds left to close to 68-67. With 20 seconds left Adam Howe sliced through the middle for a layup ad was fouled. He missed the free throw giving the Rangers a 69-68 lead. Anna had one more chance to take the lead when Brady Cates was fouled with 11 seconds left. He made one of the two sending the game into a second overtime tied at 69-all.
At the beginning of the second overtime Arnett picked up his fifth foul on a charge and with 2:47 left Ryan Lageman picked up his third foul sending Bensman to the line where he made one of two. Christian Williams scored on a layup and was fouled with 2:08 left. He converted the free throw give the Rockets a 73-69 lead.
New Knoxville finally got on the board in the second overtime when Ryan Allen nailed a trey but Bensman answered with one of two free throws to make the score 74-72 with 1:40 left. Isaac Kuntz came down and tied the game at 74-all with a layup with 1:03 left.
Josh Robinson answered with a layup with 38 seconds left, but Shane Topp gave the Rangers the lead for good when he nailed a bomb with 26 seconds left. The Rangers got the ball back and Kuntz was fouled to stop the clock with 13.6 seconds left. He made both tosses and Bensman came down and missed a last gasp three at the buzzer to give New Knoxville the 79-76 victory.
“I really give our kids a lot of credit,” Rangers head coach Kort Fledderjohann said. “In last week’s game we got down by 10 and didn’t answer the call in that game. Tonight the kids kept battling and when Jake Allen fouled out Andrew Arnett stepped up and when Andrew fouled out we had some of the younger guys on the bench step up.”
In the first quarter New Knoxville got off to a big start grabbing a 15-6 lead, but Anna came back strong in the second quarter as they battled back to tie the game at 26-all with 1:13 left, but Arnett hit a three and Jake Allen hit two free throws before Bensman hit a bomb at the buzzer to make the score 31-29 at halftime.
“We have had times when we have had lapses in the first quarter,” Barhorst said. “It was good to see our guys battle back and I just wanted to see how much and when it came down to the end we needed somebody to come through in the clutch.”
In the third quarter Anna responded again coming out of the lockerroom and outscoring the Rangers 22-12 to grab a 51-47 lead.
Throughout the game New Knoxville was able to penetrate whenever they wanted to and that accounted for 14 Ranger layups in the game.
“That is something that we have been working on,” Fledderjohann said. “We do not have a lot of size so the only way we can get the ball inside is to get it on inside penetration.”
In the JV game Anna won 46-31.
The Rockets (0-3) will entertain Russia on Tuesday, while New Knoxville (2-1) will entertain Versailles in a MAC game next Friday.