Demons fall in overtime to Pioneers

-A A +A
By Ryan Naus

The Williamstown Demons were confident going into their district tournament game against Simon Kenton, playing on their home court and coming off a big district win over Walton-Verona.

Both teams battled with each other, matching basket for basket for four quarters before the Demons took the Pioneers into overtime, eventually falling 73-69 on Feb. 24.

“I can’t be any prouder of my players,” coach Stacey May said. “We played as hard as we could possibly play and that’s all you can ask from your players. People might not believe this, but I wouldn’t be any happier if we won, because we played our guts out.”

Storm Mason started the game with a score after grabbing an offensive rebound. Patrick Spoonamore followed two Pioneer free throws by stepping up and drilling a three pointer.

Mason scored on a third attempt, working for two rebounds and a basket. The Pioneers hit a three pointer, but Todd Vice answered with six straight points and Spoonamore hit back-to-back threes, pounding his chest back on defense and putting the Demons ahead 20-7 after the first quarter.

Simon Kenton outscored Williamstown 9-2 to start the second quarter before Mason hustled for a rebound and a bucket. Spoonamore hit another three pointer with a defender draped over him for a 27-16 lead.

Spoonamore followed a four-point run by the Pioneers by hitting a three pointer despite being fouled and hitting the free throw. Simon Kenton scored before Spoonamore ended the first half with his sixth three pointer to give the Demons a 34-22 lead heading into halftime.

The teams went back and forth before Simon Kenton closed the third quarter with a 13-5 run to trail 47-43 at the end of the third quarter.

The Pioneers started the fourth quarter with a basket and a free throw, but Spoonamore rocked his defender onto his heels before blowing past him to attack the basket.

Simon Kenton tied the game with a score and a free throw but Dustin Bryant hit a three pointer in front of Simon Kenton’s fan section to put the Demons ahead 52-49.

After two free throws by the Pioneers, Zack Anglin scored to make it 54-51. The Pioneers answered by taking their first lead of the game off of a turnover to make it 56-54.

Both teams turned up their intensity in the fourth quarter, but the Demons retook the lead after Spoonamore forced a turnover and connected with a wide open Anglin for a layup to make it 59-58.

Bryant hit a three pointer in the corner to make it 64-62, before Simon Kenton tied the game at 66-66 with 26 seconds left.

Williamstown and Simon Kenton each had a chance to win the game, but the teams headed to overtime.

In overtime, the Pioneers outscored the Demons 7-3 to end the Demons season.

“Spoonamore gets into zones when he’s on a different planet and he can play with anybody,” May said. “Defensively, we jumped on them early with the triangle and two. It slowed them down and gave Langdon Barnes and Casey Sorrell two defenders to look at instead of one, but Barnes still had a great night. Our plan defensively worked, but they hit a few more shots than us.”

The Demons set a goal of 10 wins this season, meeting it in the regular season, and wanted to advance to the region tournament.

“We were only a few seconds away from that,” May said. “I’ve developed some friendships with these players and I hold my head up high because they played as hard as they possibly could. It shows how hard they worked in the summer and when you play hard, good things happen.”

Thoughts on seniors:

“After the game, I told them to put life into perspective,” May said. “Life lessons to be learned from this are that as long as these players do everything in life as hard as they play this game, they should be successful.”

Players to watch:

“We have Storm Mason and Eric White back,” May said. “We have a bundle of young players around the same ability. I’d be scared to mention just one because they are all about the same ability.”