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Regional play halted at the Storm Cellar

Hall and Princeton players wait out the power outage that eventually postponed Monday's game until Tuesday.
Hall and Princeton players wait out the power outage that eventually postponed Monday's game until Tuesday.

The play-in game of the Bureau Valley 2A regional has come down to 65 seconds.

Hall held a 46-41 lead when play was finally suspended Monday with an ongoing power outage due to the sudden blizzard blowing across Bureau County that knocked down power lines in the area. Initially gym lights were flickering in an on and off sequence that was more suitable for disco than basketball. While BV officials were able to turn off the bank of flickering lights on each side of the gym, game officials deemed there was insufficient lighting to proceed courtside.

As a result, the game was suspended until 6 p.m. Tuesday with Hall holding the 46-41 with the Red Devils' Danny Nolasco set to return to the free-throw line for the second of two free throws with 1:05 left to play. Nolasco missed his first attempt.

While both coaches agreed to play out the game in the conditions they had, they said the officials ultimately made the right call. Hall's end of the gym was noticeably darker with two sets of lights not powering up. The game officials said they didn't want to play with any noticeable unfair advantage.

“They were erring on the side of caution. It made sense," PHS coach Jesse Brandt said. "If the lights were flashing I didn't want to play. I’d feel real bad if Hall missed one of their free throws down the stretch because it was dark at their end. We had decent lights on our end, but nobody wants to win or lose in that fashion."

Hall coach Mike Filippini said it's pretty much typical how the season has gone for the Red Devils.

"I told Cody ((Hall assistant Burroughs) that we’ve gone through pretty much everything this year with different kids quitting and weird scenarios, and this pretty much tops it off,” he said.

Brett Fanning leads all scorers with 25 points, including 11 of 13 free-throwing shooting.

Austen Stewart leads the Tigers (6-22) with 11 points and Cole Evenson has eight.

The power momentarily went off completely with 2:39 remaining in the game with Evenson preparing to shoot a second free throw. From there, the lights began to flicker on and off.

"They're trying to ice me," Evenson said.

After a 10-minute delay, Evenson made his free throw to pull PHS within 41-39.

Seven seconds later, between free-throw attempts by Hall's Erik Fuentes, the power flickered once again. After another delay, Fuentes completed his second free throw to lift Hall to a 43-38 lead.

Fanning made 1 of 2 free throws before Stewart scored on a putback for the Tigers to make it 44-41. PHS called a timeout and Hall set up a home run inbounds play from Fanning to Matt Boucher, whose layup gave Hall a 46-41 lead.

With 1:05 on the block, Nolasco was fouled and missed his first free throw attempt. He never got a chance for his second. The game officials said they would wait until 9:30 p.m. (15 minutes) to suspend the game, getting approval from the IHSA office.

Filippini said his strategy is simple for his plans leading up to the resumption of play.

“Danny is going to practice free throws all day long (Tuesday), since he’s at the line,” Filippini said with a laugh. “And Jesse (Brandt) will probably draw up the greatest three-point play in the history of basketball so we’re going to have to try to stop it. He’s got a lot of time to prepare.”

Brandt said it will take more than that.

"We're going to have to get them to miss some shots for us," he said.

At Erie: A power outage also suspended the second game of the night at Erie where Indian Creek leads LaMoille/Ohio 21-7. Play will resume at 6 p.m. Tuesday starting the second quarter.

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