Indians Overcome Large Deficit: Escape With OT Win
December 16, 2007
By Chipola Staff
#1 Chipola trailed Palm Beach by 20 points with just 7:03
to play in regulation, but then mounted a monumental
comeback on their way to an overtime win.
Freshman Vernon Teel found an open path the to rim after a Palm Beach defender narrowly missed a steal, allowing Teel to scoop in the game winning lay-up with just 10 seconds to play in overtime as Chipola eked out an 88-87 thriller.
“We played as bad as you could play during the opening 32 minutes of the game,” said Chipola coach Greg Heiar. “But we just kept battling and we were determined to find a way to win the basketball game.”
Chipola, who trailed from the opening tip of the game, needed the hot shooting of freshman guard Casey Mitchell to help ensure that their Holiday Break was not spoiled with an upset loss.
Mitchell, who scored a career high 26 points, finished the night with an 8 of 11 performance from beyond the 3pt line. Six of the eight made 3pt field goals came during the final 7:00 minutes of regulation and overtime.
“Casey bailed us out of this game,” said Heiar. “If he doesn’t get hot, we would have been in trouble.”
But it was the combination of the drive and kick that proved to be key during the win.
Teel penetrated seemingly effortlessly, helping land him with 25 points. He also accounted for a team high 8 assists by kicking the ball as the defense helped.
Teel’s defense during the final run also proved to be pivotal, as Chipola finished the final 12 minutes by outscoring Palm Beach 37-16.
“Vernon was a warrior tonight,” said Heiar. “Not just V though, but all five of those guys down the stretch. They gave it everything they had on both ends. They were really good.”
Teel and Mitchell, along with sophomores Mario Little, Gary Flowers, and Mario Edwards, played the final 12 minutes of the game, as the Indians opted not to sub during the crunch.
“I just thought that those guys, at that moment, gave us the best chance to win,” said Heiar. “They brought us back and they deserved the opportunity to finish it.”
Little added a double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for the now 16-0 Indians.
Chipola resumes action on December 30 at 3:00 pm CST against #6 ranked Three Rivers (Mo). That game will be the first of a double header at Pensacola during the New Year’s Classic.