TAUNTON, Mass. -– This time, Brookline got it right.
After losing their last regular-season game, 79-76 to Franklin in double overtime on February 17, the 11th-seeded Warriors did an about-face and outlasted sixth-seeded Taunton, 84-82, in double overtime Wednesday night in an MIAA Division I South first-round game.
“It’s funny because our last game was double overtime and we lost to Franklin,” Brookline coach Luke Day said. “So it’s nice to get this win here in even more important circumstances.
“We’ve had our ups and downs. But we’re pretty good when we play and we’ve got a chance going forward.”
Taunton (17-5) had a chance to “go forward” near the end of regulation.
Corey Green (17 points) gave Taunton a 65-62 lead with 17.1 seconds left in regulation. But Brookline (14-8) tied it when Elijah Rogers (29 points) converted a three-point play with 4.9 seconds left.
Brookline’s Tyler Patterson insured that the game with go to at least one extra session when, on the ensuing inbounds play, he stripped the ball from Taunton’s Gerald Cortijo (32 points).
Then, in the first extra session, Brookline’s Brett Levey converted one-of-two free throws to give his team a 75-72 lead with 7.5 seconds left. But Taunton’s Truly Kenku buried a 3-point shot at the buzzer to send the game into a second session.
After the teams fought through a trio of ties, the last at 82-82 on a pair of free throws by Obi Obiora (19 points), Brookline went ahead 84-82 on a driving layup by Rogers.
But Obiora left the proverbial door open when he missed both ends of a two-shot foul with 19.4 seconds left.
That left the Tigers with plenty of time to force a third OT. But it didn’t happen because Green’s potential game-tying shot was off-target as the final buzzer sounded.
Tough in the clutch: “We made some plays down the stretch,” Day said. “We were the one that was down going into the fourth quarter (Taunton led 51-48 after three periods). We had to make the comeback and push the game into overtime, originally.
“There was an element of survival but I was pretty pleased with some of the plays we made, also.”
Rogers made enough big plays to fill the Warriors’ gym.
Commencing with his three-point play that forced the first OT, the senior guard reeled off 12 consecutive Brookline points – including another three-point play that gave the Warriors a 74-71 lead with 1:29 left in that extra session.
“All game long, especially down the stretch, it’s either Rogers or Obi,” Day said. “We have other guys who can score. But it’s no secret where our bread is buttered. Both of those guys came up big tonight and that’s why we got the win.”
Flying above the radar: While Rogers and Obiora tend to grab the bulk of the headlines for Brookline, the same can’t be said about Jack Moyer.
Moyer, a junior guard, wedged his way into the headline for this game by scoring 14 points including 11 in the last 4:10 of the first half which ended with Brookline leading 39-30.
During this run, Moyer buried two of his overall 3-point shots. He also nailed another trey with 1:40 left in regulation that gave Brookline a 61-60 lead.
“We have a lot of good players and Jack’s one of them,” Day said. “He’s gotten better and better and has gotten more and more confident as the season’s gone on. He’s gone on stretches like that before.
“We were over at Newton North and he went on a stretch like that. He made a huge shot last week against Newton North. He’s been really, really effective for us all year.”
Brookline also received eight points from Patterson plus a 3-point basket from Levey which helped the Warriors grab an early lead.
“There have been several guys that have played roles for us over the course of the year,” Day said. “I’ve said before that Obi and Elijah is kind of where our bread is buttered. But that does not mean we’re a two-man show at all.”