Chesapeake triumphs at buzzer

December 31, 1993|By Gary Davidson | Gary Davidson,Contributing Writer

Chesapeake-AA's Jeremy Pellegrini sank a 30-foot three-pointer at the buzzer to salvage a 48-47 triumph for the Cougars over Northeast last night in the opening game of the Pascal Holiday Tournament at North County High.

In the nightcap, Lou Brown led all Pascal Boys Tournament

scorers with 19 points and James Rivers had a game-high 14 rebounds and all eight of his points in the fourth quarter as the host Knights pulled away from Severna Park in the final four minutes for a 69-60 victory.

North County (3-3) faces Chesapeake (2-4) in today's 2 p.m. title match. Northeast (3-4) plays Severna Park (1-5) in the noon consolation.

With Chesapeake trailing 47-45 with 4.1 seconds remaining, Aubrey Goff grabbed Todd O'Brien's missed free-throw attempt and fed Pellegrini at the foul line. Pellegrini dribbled up the right side before launching his push shot that rolled around the rim before dropping through.

"I knew I had a couple dribbles and then I had to put it up," said Pellegrini, who led the Cougars with 13 points. "I saw it roll around the rim and in. I couldn't believe it. I never won a game in the last minute. It was like a dream."

The fourth quarter almost was a nightmare for Chesapeake. The Cougars had their biggest lead, 40-32, after three quarters, but did not score in the first 5:50 of the period.

Mike Eaton, who had six of his game-high 15 points in the 10-point run, stole a ball at half-court, dribbled into the lane and hit a 12-foot jumper to give Chesapeake its first lead, 42-40, with 2:56 remaining.

"We had a couple good-sized leads," said Chesapeake coach John Spinnenweber. "We just became too tentative. You let them back in, they start getting momentum. Then they played their hearts out."

Goff hit a 10-foot, left-baseline jumper for Northeast to tie the game at 42 with 2:10 left, but Delray Brooks made a driving layup 21 seconds later and Eaton added two free throws for a 46-42 advantage with 24.1 seconds on the clock.

Matt Michaelowicz hit a 21-foot three-pointer to pull the Cougars within one with 8.2 seconds to go.

O'Brien connected on his first foul shot, but his second slid off the left side of the rim.

"I told Aubrey on the blocks, 'If you get the ball, just give it to me and I'll push it up,' " said Pellegrini.

Goff said the Cougars were lucky to win after blowing their lead. The rebound "was easy," he said. "We had no more timeouts. If he makes it [the free throw], I'm throwing it up-court . . . I boxed my guy out and the ball came to me."

Rivers scored all of his points in a span of 3:06 as the Knights turned a 50-49 lead into a 58-53 bulge with 2:57 to go.

The Falcons didn't get closer than five after that.

"With the snow days, we haven't touched a ball in two days," said Rivers about his lack of early scoring. "It just started coming back at the end."

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