Bluestem's boys basketball team worked hard to erase 14-point lead midway through the third quarter.
The Lions worked hard to get a steal near the end of regulation and force overtime.
In the closing seconds, the Lions made one last play to complete an improbable comeback in a thrilling game at Douglass Thursday night. Cooper Minnick missed a deep 3-pointer, but Bluestem senior Judd Simon caught the rebound in the air and scored a putback just as the buzzer sounded to lift Bluestem to a 50-48 victory.
The buzzer beater was just the capper to a game that had back-and-forth momentum shifts throughout the second half and overtime. During the fourth quarter, the Lions took their first lead since late in the first when Minnick made incredible steals on back-to-back plays and converted both of those into baskets on the other end. Minnick hit a 3-pointer on the second steal to give Bluestem a 42-39 lead.
Douglass responded with field goals by Chase Banos and Rip Fraley to regain the lead at 43-42. Fraley extended the Bulldogs' lead to 45-42 with 1:01 left to play.
That's when John Stiger converted a difficult three-point play as he sliced through the lane to tie the game 45-45 with 51 seconds left. Neither team could get a good look the rest of the way as both defenses stiffened.
In the overtime, Bluestem struck first as Stephen Muckenthaler hit a short jumper for a 47-45 lead. Both teams traded a free throw, but Banos later hit 2 of 2 from the line to tie it at 48-48 with just 3.4 seconds left.
The Lions made a long inbound pass that Minnick caught and quickly turned into a long shot attempt, which set up Simon's heroics.
-Bluestem's Minnick and Douglass' Banos were named to the All-Tournament team. The tournament was won by Fredonia.
Check back online and in Saturday's Times-Gazette for more coverage on this game.