McCloskey’s buzzer-beater gives BG victory

Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High boys basketball coach Chris Drenning was not happy following Monday night’s disappointing 47-23 loss to Bishop Carroll Catholic to say the least.

He had a very tough practice Tuesday and stressed over and over again the importance of competing.

It seems like the Marauders were listening.

Bishop Guilfoyle, on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Sam McCloskey, defeated the visiting Bishop McCort Crushers, 48-45, in Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference action Wednesday night at the Pleasant Valley Gymnasium.

“We were far from perfect, but we played much better tonight,” Drenning said. “We showed resiliency, and the kids get all the credit for that.”

Bishop McCort held a 10-9 lead after one quarter of play, and in the second quarter, no team led by more than three points at anytime. There were five lead changes and one tie, and the Marauders had a 23-22 lead going into halftime.

The third quarter was even more hotly contested, and it truly seemed like every possession there was another lead change. Gap Barbin, Bishop McCort’s senior forward, made a basket with 7:20 left in the third that gave the Crushers a 24-23 lead. On Bishop Guilfoyle’s following possession, C.J. Fulare made a trey to give his team a 26-24 lead, but the Crushers answered immediately back with a 3-ball of their own, this one by Nemo Trexler. Bishop Guilfoyle’s Pat Irwin came down and made a jumper in the paint that regained the lead for the Marauders, but Trexler answered with a bucket of his own to give the Crushers a one-point lead again. There were seven lead changes in the third quarter alone.

After all those lead changes, the Crushers ended the third by going on a 8-0 run and started the fourth by scoring four points before the Marauders were able to get onto the scoreboard. All of a sudden the Marauders trailed by 11 points (41-30). But Bishop Guilfoyle stormed right back into the ball game – scoring six unanswered points, with Irwin draining a trey. Following a jumper in the lane by Trexler, McCloskey made his first 3-pointer of the contest, and then turned a Bishop McCort turnover into a fast-break layup. After Brandon Chadbourn made one-of-two from the charity stripe, the Marauders’ deficit was only one (43-42). Trexler, who hit big shot after big shot against Bishop Guilfoyle, made another huge basket – this one on a jumper in the paint.

Coach Drenning raved about Trexler’s performance after the ballgame.

“Nemo is a very talented player,” Drenning said.

Irwin followed Trexler’s basket by making the first of two foul shots, but Owen Wolfe grabbed a key offensive rebound that led to Brandon Drenning getting hacked on a shot, and earning a trip to the foul line. Drenning sank both of them – tying the game at 45-45. Irwin had a chance to win the ballgame for the Marauders but missed both foul shots with a little more than 20 seconds remaining. The game looked as if it were destined for overtime, until McCloskey made his miracle trey from the right corner just as the buzzer sounded.

“It’s an end-of-game play we have for 10 seconds or less,” Coach Drenning said. “I stole it from a college game I had watched. Did I think he was going to make the shot? No. I’m so happy for him.”

McCort coach Pat Hollern gave all the credit in the world to the Marauders and their coach.

“They played hard and played until the end of the game,” Hollern said. “They played to win, and we didn’t.”

Bishop Guilfoyle, improved to 6-2, while the Crushers fell to 6-3.

BISHOP MCCORT (45): Hipp 5 5-6 16, Neiderhiser 4 2-2 11, Spangler 1 0-0 3, Barbin 1 0-0 2, Trexler 5 0-0 11, Pastorek 1 0-0 2, Ingram 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 7-8 45.

BISHOP GUILFOYLE(48): Drenning 4 2-2 12, Irwin 2 2-6 7, McCloskey 3 1-2 9, Rickens 0 0-0 0, Koehle 1 2-2 4, Fulare 3 0-0 7, Chadbourn 2 5-8 9, Nardelli 0 0-0 0, Patterson 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 12-20 48.


Bishop McCort10 12 15 8 – 45

Bishop Guilfoyle9 14 7 18 – 48

3-point field goals: Bishop McCort 4 (Trexler, Hipp, Neiderhiser, Spangler). Bishop Guilfoyle 6 Drenning 2, McCloskey 2, Irwin, Fulare).

Records: Bishop McCort (6-3); Bishop Guilfoyle (6-2).

JV: Bishop Guilfoyle, 47-28. High scorers DiFrancesco, BM, 11; Fiore, BG, 9.