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Rally time

Tidioute goes on 10-0 run in final two minutes to stun Sheffield

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Tidioute senior Jared Veasey goes up for two of his eight first-quarter points against Sheffield on Monday. Veasey finished the game with 10, including two free throws with five seconds left to help seal the victory for the Bulldogs.

The senior leaders for the Tidioute Bulldogs have played a lot of basketball together, so there isn’t a situation they will face that will cause them to panic.

Not even being down 7 with 1:40 remaining in regulation.

Trailing Sheffield 47-40, Ryan Williams’ 3-pointer started a 10-0 run to close the game and lift them to a dramatic 50-47 win over county rival Sheffield on Monday.

“We’ve had four years of this,” said one of those seniors, Jared Veasey. “We’ve played a lot of basketball together. In that situation, we just executed.”

After Williams’ 3, Alex Sabella stole the inbounds pass and handed the ball back to Williams, who immediately buried another long ball to make it a 1-point game with 1:05 to go.

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Sheffield’s Jake Vinopal goes up for two of hiss 11 points as Tidioute’s Patrick Shields defends.

Sheffield got the ball in this time, but Tyler Hepinger, who played a terrific second half after going down with an injury in and missing most of the first half, was called for a charge as he drove to the basket, giving the ball back to Tidioute.

What followed next was an unorthodox play by Maison Deloe, but one that ultimately gave Tidioute the lead.

Deloe drove and was attempting to get the ball to Veasey. But the Wolverines, who collapsed on Veasey every time he touched the ball in the second half, cut that off. Next, Deloe looked for Patrick Shields, but Shields was also covered.

Deloe was caught in-between, but was able to tight-rope the sideline and put the ball up and in with 17 second left to make it 48-47.

“Jared was down in the post and I saw Patrick running over and I figured I’d try and get it to Patrick,” Deloe said. “Patrick wasn’t open, So I went around Jared and found the layup.”

Sheffield gave the ball back to Tidioute (7-4) and fouled Deloe with 7.4 seconds left.

Deloe was unable to hit either free throw attempt, but Veasey secured a big offensive rebound and sank two free throws for his only points of the second half to put Tidioute up 3 with five seconds left.

“It was pretty big,” Veasey said. “We needed that rebound and I was able to grab it.”

Without any timeouts left, Sheffield’s Tony Richards got a good look in the corner for 3 at the buzzer that would have tied the game, but it didn’t go.

“It’s just the youth, getting them to understand how to execute,” said Sheffield coach Mike Knapp. “Be patient, run clock, make them guard you and foul you. We’ll learn from this. They understand in the immediate moment what they did. Like I always say, it’s not going to stop until we wise up.

Times Observer photo by Andy Close The Sheffield student section cheers on their Wolverines.

“It’s a balancing line. The whole game we told them drive, drive, drive. So in their heads they’re thinking that’s what coach wants. It’s just learning.”

It was all Tidioute in the early going, with Hepinger going down at the 4:52 mark of the first quarter on a hard fall.

Veasey scored eight of his 10 points in the first quarter, and back-to-back 3’s by Sabella and Williams gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the game, 24-10, early in the second quarter.

Sheffield close that half on a 7-0 to get within 6 at halftime, capped by a drive from the recently returned Matt Dunham and a 3 by Jake Vinopal.

It was Vinopal, to a large extent, who got the assignment of guarding Veasey in the second half.

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Tidioute’s Maison Deloe (0) guards Sheffield’s Tony Richards.

“We had some foul trouble with the guys we were trying to cover him with early,” Jake Vinopal, to his credit, really stepped up. We’re on Jake a lot about defense and being accountable and he was. He played hard and did a good job.”

Sheffield took it’s first lead of the game, 28-26, on a 3 by Hepinger, who was on fire in the second half, scoring 15 of his game-high 17 points.

Tidioute closed the third quarter no a 8-0 run to re-take a 37-30 lead on back-to-back 3’s by Shields and Williams and a drive by Deloe.

It was Sheffield’s turn to make a run to start the fourth. The Wolverines (1-10) scored 15 of the first 17 points in the fourth, taking the lead on four consecutive free throws by Richards.

The Wolverine freshman was fouled and Shields was whistled for a technical, giving him the four opportunities.

Four more free throws by Hepinger, who was 9-of-9 from the line, made it 47-40 before the Bulldogs’ dramatic rally.

“I trust these guys,” Deloe said of his teammates.

Williams led Tidioute with 15 points, all on 3’s, while Veasey had 10 points and 11 rebounds, Deloe 11 points and 15 rebounds and Shields nine rebounds, three blocks and four steals.

Richards was also in double figures for the Wolverines with 11 points.

“They know these kids well,” Knapp said of his team and Tidioute. “They know Jared and Patrick and those guys, so they’re close with them. You fight back, you work hard. It’s a friendly competition, but it’s intense.”

For Tidioute, they feel like they are playing well, but their best basketball is still in front of them.

“I think we’re playing great,” Veasey said. “We’re 7-4 now. We’re bringing it together. We still have a lot to learn, but we’re making it happen.”

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TIDIOUTE (50)

Shields 2-0-0-6, Veasey 3-4-6-10, Williams 5-0-0-15, Klos 1-0-0-3, Deloe 5-0-5-11, Kennedy 0-0-0-0, Sabella 2-0-0-5, Totals 18-4-11-50

SHEFFIELD (47)

Kyler 1-0-1-2, Hepinger 3-9-9-17, Vinopal 5-0-0-11, Richards 3-4-4-11, McNeal 0-0-0-0, Dunham 2-0-0-4, Benjamin 1-0-0-2, Copley 0-0-0-0, Totals 15-13-14-47

By Quarters

Tidioute 16 10 11 13 – 50

Sheffield 6 14 10 17 – 47

Three-point FGs: Tidioute (10) – Williams 5, Shields 2, Klos, Deloe, Sabella; Sheffield (4) – Hepinger 2, Richards, Vinopal

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