SPRING VALLEY — Tuesday night’s matchup between Hall and Henry wasn’t supposed to be a tough game for Henry. As it turns out, it was not only tough, but they trailed most of the way.
That doesn’t mean they didn’t fight like a team that wants to be a Tri-County Conference champion, though. It took double overtime for Hall to seal the deal, and they did winning 66-55.
In the first overtime it quickly became apparent than unless someone gave, this decision was going to take more minutes. And so it did, with a score of 51-51, play continued into overtime number two.
The last overtime wasn’t as dramatic. Henry’s Nathan Helle, who shared team scoring honors at 12 points with teammate Ryan Condit, fouled out. Then Hall’s Nick Fuentes was able to gather up an offensive rebound and get a putback. After that, Hall cruised on to win. Fanning led the team with 23 points.
“The play that probably won us the game in double overtime was Fuentes got that offensive rebound and put back. That put us in front, and we never relinquished the lead,” Hall coach Mike Filippini said. “It’s no secret we’re not very big, we start two 6 foot 1 kids, had a 6 foot 3 kid on the bench today … but you’ve got to play good defense and rebound.”
Henry coach Steve Self said, “It was a great effort from our perspective, we battled back, I think we were down 10. I told the kids I was proud of them, we battled back. “
The game started off looking like two fairly even squads with one simply having the ball bounce their way more than the other. And that didn’t change much through the course of about 28 minutes.
Hall played around with a six-point lead most of the first half while Henry would periodically find ways to chip into it. When that happened, Hall would find a way to get back their preferred margin for the evening. At halftime, the score was 28-22; naturally.
Hall went up eight early in the third and seemed to be taking control of the game. Their rebounding performance on both ends of the court was lights out. Nearing the end of three, Hall momentarily held its largest lead of the game, up eleven points.
At the halfway mark of the fourth quarter is when things started to change a bit. At that point, Henry had come back to within four. There were some exchanges of one and two points and by the time there was one minute left in regulation the score was 44-42 Hall.
Then, it got interesting. In the waning seconds of the game, the paint opened up for Hall senior Brett Fanning and he drove down inside and dished the ball off to senior Danny Nolasco who laid the Bucket in, widening the lead to four points. But, Henry answered with its own quick basket, cutting the deficit back to two.
Fanning then carried the ball across the court and Henry fouled, giving Fanning the chance to ice the game. He made one of his two free throws. Then Condit went flying down the court and fired a last ditch three. The basket didn’t sink, but he was fouled hard mid-air.
At the line, he calmly sunk the buckets to send the game into overtime.
Filippini said Nolasco’s effort on Helle was amazing.
“To hold him to 12 points was just an unbelievable effort by Danny. I know he had some big threes on offense, but it was him stopping Nathan was an absolute key to the game. Because he (Helle) is a heck of a player, he’s a big strong kid,” Filippini said. “Danny is a little 5-8 kid but he’s tough as nails and he had just an awesome, awesome defensive effort.”