ST. GEORGES – St. Mark’s boys basketball team made just eight field goals in its nonconference game Dec. 16 against Concord, and five of those came in the first quarter. The Spartans went about 19 minutes of game time without s bucket.
But their final field goal of the afternoon, a 10-foot baseline jump shot from Nick Leski, gave them the lead for the final time as the Spartans outlasted the Raiders, 41-39, in double overtime at the Rumble by the River at St. Georges Technical High School. With the win, St. Mark’s improved to 3-0 on the season.
The Spartans held an 11-2 lead after a quarter, frustrating young Concord with a pressing man-to-man defense. The advantage was six at halftime and remained that way after three quarters. About two and half minutes into the third, Victor Marcelo sliced his way through the lane for a layup, and that would be the last bucket until Leski connected with 40.7 seconds to go in the second overtime.
In between, the shots just would not fall for St. Mark’s, while Concord inched its way back into the contest. The Spartans increased their lead to nine at 27-18, with all six of their points coming from the free-throw line. A three-point shot by Daekwon Napier cut it to 27-24, and St. Mark’s went on a stretch where they missed three of four free throws.
A Raiders steal turned into a long three-pointer from Paris Hickman, making it a one-point Spartans lead. The Spartans survived the missed shots and turnovers by converting 12 of 16 free-throw attempts during the fourth, including six of six by Will Hoffman. The last two of those increased the lead to 33-30 with 31.7 seconds remaining, but Concord’s Zachery Andrews sent the game to overtime with a triple from the top of the arc, his only points of the afternoon.
Concord took two leads in the first overtime on baskets by Matthew Ilodigwe, but St. Mark’s knotted it up by hitting all four free throws it attempted in the extra session. A Leski free throw put the Spartans up a point early in overtime number two, but Eric Neal gave Concord a 39-38 lead on a 15-footer. Leski struck again, hitting that jumper to finally end the field-goal drought. Both teams missed opportunities to score until Hoffman made a free throw with 4 seconds left. A halfcourt heave from Concord bounced off the glass, and a rebound shot also missed. Finally, after 40 minutes of play, the Spartans could breath a sigh of relief.
Leski scored 18 to lead the Spartans. Overall, the team made 25 free throws in 38 attempts. They travel to McKean on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Ilodigwe and Owen Thompson each scored 11 for the Raiders (2-4), who return to the court Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Delcastle.