Aaron Line and Matt Smith combined for 12 overtime points Saturday as host El Dorado exacted some revenge with a 67-59 victory over Ponderosa in the third place game of the annual Gold Dust Tournament.
Line led all scorers with 23 points to snare All Tourney honors. Tuesday at the Bruins’ gym, Ponderosa prevailed over the Cougars 63-60 in another hard-fought battle.
El Dorado outscored the Bruins 16-8 in overtime. All eight Ponderosa points came from All Tourney selection Marcus Forbes (12 points) who had 21 when the teams met earlier in the week.
“The players deserved this win,” Cougar coach Conrad Dizon said. “It was a gutty performance — the guys played hard, never gave up and pulled it out.”
With Kennedy of Richmond a no-show, El Dorado pulled a double shift all weekend. Prior to facing Ponderosa, the Cougars had already lost to Colfax in the game for fifth place.
“Our kids were tired. They (Colfax) played well, we didn’t,” Dizon said.
The Cougars rallied from seven points down in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Tommy Williams’ running banker off an offensive rebound with 12 seconds left in regulation tied the game at 51-51.
“We just didn’t finish … we get that rebound we win the game,” Bruin coach Troy Selvey said. “We expected it to be a fight and for everyone to play at a high level. Conrad did a great job preparing his team but we beat ourselves tonight.”
In overtime, Smith’s three-pointer opened the scoring before Michael Weston found a cutting Williams for a five-point advantage. After Forbes sank two free throws, Smith drove baseline for a 3-point play and Line and Ian Spencer closed the game out from the free throw line to offset Forbes’ one-man scoring flurry.
“We really wanted to beat them after Tuesday’s close loss. We hung in and once we got to overtime everyone hustled and played well,” Line said.
Key to El Dorado’s win was holding Bruin center Chris Snyder to five points. Tuesday, Snyder and Forbes combined for 34 points.
“Ian did a fantastic job on Forbes and Michael (Weston) on Snyder with double teams and good defense,” Line added.
Two threes from Spencer and one by Williams opened Saturday’s game as the Cougars led 15-8 after the first quarter. Ponderosa’s bench stepped up in the second to help the Bruins to a 26-all halftime tie.
Ponderosa turned the tables in the third as Jordan Brennan sank two treys and Snyder one to open the quarter. The Bruins led 42-35 going to the fourth.
Line willed his team to climb back in it in the fourth; muscling his way underneath for baskets or to get to the line. A costly turnover hurt Ponderosa when Spencer grabbed an errant pass and raced downcourt for a high shot off the glass to tie the score at 49s.
The Bruins reclaimed the lead with 31 seconds left when Josh Bist found Brennan slashing to the rim for a short shot that fell. Ponderosa then forced Smith into a tough shot but couldn’t corral the rebound that Williams garnered for the basket to send the game to overtime.
Spencer had 13 points for El Dorado; Smith added 11, Williams, nine; and Soren Shepherd, six. For the Bruins, Brennan finished with 11; Bist had nine; Josh Boiler added eight; Matt Bejsovec, seven, and Marty Padilla match Snyder with five points.
Against Colfax, Spencer bucketed 15 points and Line added 10.
Notes: There was a lot of coaching victories in the stands and at the scorer’s table Saturday as former Union Mine coach Terry Battenberg and Oak Ridge coach Steve Scott were both in attendance.