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Voyageur's Best Sports of 2003

McGregor Basketball

Brown beats buzzer!
 
Derek Cummings rained down six 3-point baskets
 
by John Grones  |  February 11, 2003
 

Long-range shooting was a big factor when the AlBrook Falcons visited McGregor on Tues., Feb. 4. Both teams combined to score 13, 3-point shots, but threes would not determine the outcome of this game.

It was a close game from start to finish and every time it appeared that McGregor would take control of the game, AlBrook answered with an offensive rebound put-back or a 3-point shot of their own.

Derek Cummings was hot in the first half. He hit four 3-point baskets, all from the exact same spot. The Falcons obviously missed the scouting report, because Derek got two nice looks early. By the time AlBrook figured out he was a shooter, Zac was penetrating the zone and kicking out to Derek. Zac and Derek completed two identical plays on back-to-back possessions in the second period.

Unfortunately for McGregor, AlBrook responded with an offensive rebound put-back by Alex Lamb and 3-point baskets by Cory Mountain and Matt Salo. At the end of the half the score was tied at 24 each.

In the third period, Zac showed his mettle right away. After AlBrook scored first, Zac came back with a 3-pointer. A few seconds later Zac had a steal and was laying it in. McGregor continued to shoot well and Anthony Pierce pitched in a 3-point shot.

By the time the fourth period rolled around, the Mercs still hadn’t solved the rebounding situation. AlBrook came up with six offensive rebounds in the final quarter and converted nine second chance points. Throw in an easy layup versus the press and the Falcons found themselves ahead 47-45.

The Mercs were resilient and found Derek Cummings for his sixth 3-point basket of the game, which according to Derek is a career high. “In the first half I was strokin’ it from the corner,” Derek said. “Zac would drive and flip it out.” The second half was a bit more challenging for Derek and AlBrook continued to keep him in check until the Mercs made an adjustment. “I started running the baseline and they wheeled the ball around,” he added.

Later in the fourth Zac and Jason Paquette teamed up for a big play. Jason deflected the ball on defense to Zac, who then advanced the ball on the break, dropping it off for Jason for the layin. With 2:03 remaining the Mercs took a slim 50-49 lead.

On the next possession, AlBrook’s Cory Mountain came up with an offensive rebound and was fouled. He made both free throws, but Zac hustled the ball up the court, dished off to Derek and he layed it in.

The Falcons got a break on the their next possession. Jason Paquette picked up his fifth foul and sent Lamb to the freethrow line. Fortunately for the Mercs, the freshman hit just one of two from the line tieing the score at 52.

The final 1:18 of the game would stay on McGregor’s end of the court, thanks to two big rebounds by guards. The first came with 55 seconds. Following a missed shot, Andy Hadrich went up inside and came away with the rebound.

The Mercs chose to work the clock, before calling two consecutive time outs. The first came with 37 seconds and the second with 23 seconds remaining. The Mercs had no trouble inbounding the ball and they got a good look at the basket with 10 seconds. Michaa Aubid’s shot rimmed out, but McGregor was there again for the rebound. This time Zac came up with the ball and was immediately fouled with six seconds.

The Mercs weren’t in the bonus yet and AlBrook still had a foul to give. They used their final foul with four seconds remaining, before calling a time out and the stage was set for the final play.

“We actually had three or four picks set up and hit whoever was open,” said Zac. Zac didn’t need a pick. He took the indbounds pass, drove to the basket and while being sandwiched, looped it up and scored at the buzzer.

Final score: Mercs 54, AlBrook 52.

This article first appeared in the February 11, 2003 issue of the Voyageur Press.