MANLIUS – Two goals were accomplished by the Bureau Valley Storm on Saturday night.
They wanted to win on their home floor for Senior Night. They also wanted to avenge the two-point loss they suffered at Erie exactly four weeks prior.
It took an overtime comeback, but the Storm were able to prevail 57-53 over the Erie Cardinals by making plays down the stretch and scoring seven of the final nine points of the game.
“We didn’t finish (at Erie), but tonight I think we came back, especially in overtime,” said senior forward Brian Lange, who scored five of his 13 points in overtime. “We really showed that we can finish the game by hitting big shots and being calm under pressure.”
Parker Neuhalfen led the Storm (18-11, 7-6) with 22 points, scoring five in the overtime period. He hit the go-ahead shot, a jumper from the right wing, 13 seconds after Erie’s Jacob Johnston had an alley-oop dunk that gave the Cardinals a brief 51-50 lead.
Bryce Hansen followed with a score inside while being fouled by Jordan Chandler. Although he missed the free throw, it gave the Storm a three-point lead with 37 seconds remaining. Neuhalfen then closed the game out by making three free throws on four attempts.
“After Jan. 12 we had four games against teams that we had lost to. Right now we are 2-1 against those teams,” said Storm coach Jason Marquis. “We’ll see what happens when we play Kewanee on Tuesday. We circled those games on the calendar and said those are games we really wanted to get back. We wanted to show everybody that we are improving.”
“Marquis stressed how we lost by two to them before, and how we can show that we matured as a team,” said senior forward Jordan Monier, who added 10 points in the game. “To come through on our home court in front of a great fan base on senior night was a big win for us as seniors.”
The Storm looked like they had the game locked up in regulation, but Erie’s Connor Saad hit his first shot of the night, after missing his first eight attempts, draining a three-pointer from the left wing with 25 seconds left to tie the game at 45.
Neuhalfen then missed a last second three-point attempt and Lange almost beat the buzzer with a tip-in, but the shot was waived off, sending the game into overtime. The game was nip-and-tuck throughout with 17 lead changes in regulation and the extra period.
The Storm enjoyed their biggest lead of the night of seven points in the first quarter, but Erie scored the final eight points of the quarter to take a one-point lead. The Cardinals’ biggest lead came after back-to-back three-pointers from Rhett Stover and Johnston early in the third quarter to make it 26-21.
Johnston scored 17 points in the second half and overtime to finish with a game-high 24 points for Erie (14-12, 6-6).
• The Storm will close out regular season play at Kewanee on Tuesday. ... Josh Mead scored 27 points to lead the sophomore Storm to a 49-44 victory.