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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Blu-Jays lose by two in OT but give fans a game to remember

Blu-Jay senior Tony Gillespie scored 18 points in the overtime loss to Uniontown in the 2A substate semifinal game on Friday, March 1. (Photos courtesy of Heather Baldwin)


PLEASANTON – With the advantage of playing on their home court in their pocket, the Pleasanton boys varsity basketball team gave their fans a thrilling but ultimately disappointing overtime loss in the semi-finals of the 2A substate tournament on Friday, March 1.


The third-seeded Blu-Jays (13-9) were underdogs in the semifinal matchup against the No. 2 seed Uniontown. The Eagles (15-8) beat the Blu-Jays 52-41 in early February, but Pleasanton stepped up in the final minutes of Friday’s match to force the game into overtime.


It looked as though the Eagles were going to effectively stall the game in the final minute of regulation with a 51-50 lead. Pleasanton resorted to fouls to force Uniontown to restart with an inbounds pass, but the Eagles found a hole under the basket and made it 53-50 with 30 seconds remaining.


But a three-pointer by senior Tony Gillespie evened the score at 53-53. As the clock ticked off the remaining seconds, the Eagles appeared to have scored on a put back on an offensive rebound.


Senior Blu-Jay Braden Baldwin contributed 13 points in the overtime loss on Friday.


But the officials huddled briefly at midcourt and emerged to rule the winning basket was made after time had elapsed. The Blu-Jays had a shot of redemption in overtime.


Midway through overtime the Eagles went up 57-55 on a free throw and a layup. A missed field goal by the Blu-Jays and rebound by Uniontown gave the Eagles yet another opportunity. But before they could move the ball down court, Gillespie intercepted a pass and evened the score.


But a turnover by the Blu-Jays and a turnaround jumper by the Eagles as the buzzer sounded gave Uniontown the win, 59-57.


Gillespie had 18 points in his final game, completing a four-game stretch with 18 or more points per game. Fellow senior Braden Baldwin put 13 points on the board. Sophomores made substantial contributions as well with Cam Staton contributing 9 points and Marion Davis putting up 8 points.


Uniontown advanced to the championship game on Saturday against top-seeded Lyndon and that team’s perfect 23-0 record. Lyndon overwhelmed the Eagles 84-31 and advanced to the state 2A tournament as the top seed.


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