BROCTON - With time running out in the fourth quarter, Brocton head coach Jeff Franze knew whose hands he wanted the ball in - senior Jordan Patterson.
Down 40-39, with less than a minute left in regulation, Patterson took a pass, worked in and around the Clymer defense, waiting for the right moment to put up a shot.
As both the game and shot clock wound down, Patterson let go a 3-point attempt from 22-feet out, finding nothing but the bottom of the net, helping the Bulldogs (13-1, 9-1) escape with a a 45-40 CCAA Division 4 win over the Pirates (9-5, 5-3).
"To make that NBA three with the shot clock running down was huge, just absolutely huge," Franze said.
"That's a key to a lot of things," Clymer head coach Dan White added of having senior leadership. "Only having one starting senior on my squad, and only having one that's played more than one year of varsity was a big thing."
The two teams went back and forth from the beginning with both teams scoring just eight points in the first quarter, as neither seemed able to find any rhythm on offense, but things changed in the second.
Freshman Aaron Riforgiato got things going for Brocton, but Clymer's Mitch Einink scored the next five points, putting the Pirates up 14-10, finishing the quarter with nine points, including two 3-pointers.
"They shot well," Franze noted of Clymer's play in the second quarter. "They had four or five (3-pointers) before halftime and the last time we played them, I think they only had one (3-pointer)."
Dan Lictus added seven points in the quarter, helping Clymer take a 24-20 lead into the break.
"Einink hit some key threes in the second stanza," White said. "And Lictus, he did a nice job of working that paint in and around the basket."
Brocton began the second half on a 10-3 run, taking a 30-27 lead. However, Garrett McAfoose connected on three straight foul shots, cutting the Bulldogs' lead to 33-32, before Austin Crosby tied the game 33-all with 44 seconds left in the third quarter.
"We came out and kept it close," White said. "And then in the second half as well. It was back-and-forth and that's how I expected this game to be. It's been a good (CCAA) Division 4 game between Brocton and Clymer the two times we've played this year."
Then, with 3 seconds left, Patterson hit the first of two big 3-pointers on the night, giving Brocton a 36-33 edge as the teams headed into the final eight minutes.
"He's a four-year varsity player, he's a senior and maybe Senior Night helped us a little bit (Tuesday)," Franze said. "Not so far as getting off to a hot start, because we didn't, but he's so important. He's been with me and we don't change things from one year to the next. He knows what we like to do and he's very important."
The Bulldogs went cold after Patterson's 3-pointer, scoring just three points over the first 7:39 of the fourth quarter, seeing their lead disappear as the Pirates took a 40-39 lead with 1:29 left in regulation.
"The Clymer kids, they came to play (Tuesday)," Franze said. "They played hard and it was just another great game."
Patterson then stepped up when his team needed him most, burying the eventual game-winning shot. However, Clymer had two shots for the tie or the lead, but were unable to convert any of its chances, as Brocton hit 3-of-4 free throws to ice the game.
"It took a little wind out of our sails," White said, referring to Patterson's 3-pointer. "But we ran the out-of-bounds play at the end like we wanted to, it was just a little too rushed, instead of letting that play set all the way through. And that was the key thing."
Patterson finished with a game-high 21 points, adding five steals while fellow senior Dan Ferguson finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
"They were very determined (Tuesday)," Franze noted of his seniors. "Dan didn't score a lot of points, but he played good defense and we tried to run our offense through him. He made the right plays and it was a great team effort."
Riforgiato, a freshman, finished with eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
For Clymer, Einink ended his night with a team-high 12 points, adding six rebounds while Lictus chipped in 11 points and six rebounds of his own.
"I thought Dan Lictus played a great game," Franze said. "We had to key on him just about every trip down the court. He had a lot of energy and they played a great game. It's going to be a fun playoffs."
North Collins 48, Ellicottville 30
ELLICOTTVILLE - Jayden Keough stepped up Tuesday night for North Collins (8-8, 5-5), scoring 16 points, as the Eagles upended Ellicottville (5-9, 3-5), 48-30, in CCAA Division 4 boys basketball action.
"It was a nice victory with (Jared) Keppel only having four points," North Collins head coach Rob Catalino said.
Keppel, who entered the game averaging 24 points per game, struggled, but Keough, who had a 20-point effort against Forestville earlier in the season, was able to step up and lead his team to the win.
"We're starting to gel at the right time," Catalino said. "We played a good game against Brocton the other night. It's nice to get good back-to-back efforts."
The Eagles built a 13-7 lead after the first, taking a 29-14 lead into the break, before outscoring Ellicottville, 23-16 in the second half to pick up the win.
Todd Youngman added 10 points and six rebounds in the win for North Collins.