SPRING VALLEY — The Hall Red Devils shot their way back into Saturday’s fifth-place game of the Colmone Classic against Bureau Valley, sinking seven three-point baskets in the second half after trailing 39-22 at halftime.
Brett Fanning’s three-pointer with 9.8 seconds remaining brought the Red Devils all the way back for a 66-all tie. Bureau Valley’s Frank Gebeck had the final bullet, however.
The 5-foot-11 senior guard drove the lane and got his shot to roll around and in at the buzzer to lift the Storm to a 68-66 win over the host Red Devils.
“Clutch situation, Fanning’s all over me. I know he’s a real good defender,” said Gebeck, who led all scorers with 19 points. “Coach called flat and I just took it to myself and put the team on my shoulders and tried to take the team to victory and that’s what I had to do.”
“I think it’s nice for him, someone who’s put a lot of effort in, cares a great deal about basketball, for him to hit a shot like that is kind of a show to the work he’s put in,” BV coach Jason Marquis said.
Gebeck and teammate Parker Neuhalfen (16 points) were named to the All-Tournament Team along with Hall’s Fanning (29 points) and Miguel Villareal (18).
The Storm used a 26-5 over the end of the first quarter and start of the second quarter to take a commanding 36-18 lead. They scored seven straight points to take a 16-13 lead after one quarter and six more to open up a 22-13 lead in the second.
Hall tallied five straight points, but the Storm answered with a 14-0 run to double the Devils at 36-18.
Hall’s strategy in the second half sent the Red Devils behind the arc early and often. They hit four straight treys, including two by Danny Nolasco and one each by Fanning and Villareal. A driving, dipsy-do basket by Villareal trimmed the Storm lead to 43-39.
“We’ve got some good shooters, and that second half was as good as it gets,” Hall coach Mike Filippini said.
Hall fell behind 60-51 with four minutes left in the game before Villareal connected again behind the stripe. Another trey by Villareal was followed on a steal on the inbounds and layup by Fanning to bring Hall within 65-63 with 0:56 on the clock.
“They were lighting us up. We had no answer for them,” Marquis said.
Down 66-63, Filippini asked for a timeout just before Fanning connected on a three-pointer which would have tied the game. Fanning was called for a charge, but the Storm’s Tommy Johnston missed two free throws. This time, Fanning hit a three-pointer that counted to tie the game at 66 before Gebeck’s game-winning buzzer-beater.
“the kids persevered and found a way to win,” Marquis said. “It wasn’t a lack of effort. The kids just didn’t execute very well third and fourth quarter. I guess that one play matters. We took a charge and went down and hit a shot.
“Credit Hall. They’ve got a lot of good shooters. Got in a rhythm, home floor, they got the momentum, they seized the day and went after it.”