High School Sports

Aussie buzzer-beater denies Basirico win No. 500

No. 500 will have to wait.

West Adelaide's Patrick Thomas hit a runner from just inside the top of the key at the final buzzer, and the Australian club team denied Hilton Head Prep coach Rich Basirico in his first bid for the milestone victory, winning 55-54 on Tuesday at Prep's Fraser Field House.

Thomas' game-winner came just after Matt Layman had capped Prep's comeback from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit with a pair of free throws.

"I was so pleased the way our kids played so hard," Basirico said. "I was really pleased the way we got back in the game. We created turnovers and converted. The effort was there. I'm just disappointed we couldn't finish."

The Dolphins (10-3) had problems all night with 6-foot-5 center Rhys Daddow, who scored a team-high 18 points and helped hold Prep big men Patrick Andrews and Bo Strimpfel without a field goal.

It wasn't Daddow who delivered the daggers, though. That distinction belonged to Thomas, who saved the biggest of his three last-second shots for last. His banked 3-pointer at the end of the first half stopped Prep's momentum and made it 28-23 at halftime, and he also beat the third-period buzzer with a wide-open 3-pointer from the left-wing for a 47-36 lead.

Thomas scored 10 points -- eight of them in the final seconds of the last three periods.

"I don't really hit many buzzer-beaters, so it was just really surprising," Thomas said. "But it was good."

Prep took its first lead since the first quarter when Layman hit a pair of free throws with 4.1 seconds left, and the Dolphins needed just one more stop to deliver Basirico's 500th victory. But the Bearcats anticipated Prep's trap and sent Thomas streaking up the court on a hook-and-lateral play, and his runner at the horn swished through.

"We felt we needed to pressure them, because they turned the ball over throughout the whole fourth quarter," Basirico said. "But it backfired on us."

Layman, who missed practice because of illness Monday, scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the second half and nine in the fourth quarter.

"He's playing sick; that's why he didn't start tonight," Basirico said. "He's a warrior. He hung in there and did a tremendous job."

Prep's next shot at earning Basirico's milestone victory comes Friday at home against SCISAA Region 3-AAA opponent Porter-Gaud.

West Adelaide (Australia) boys 55, Hilton Head Prep 54

HILTON HEAD PREP -- Matt Layman 19, Dimitri Lowry 14, Alex Orford 5, Bo Strimpfel 4, Patrick Andrews 3, George Hirsch 3, Danny Maggard 2, Tim Godshalk 2, L.J. Orage 2.

WEST ADELAIDE -- Rhys Daddow 18, Patrick Thomas 10, Richard Rodgers 8, Lachlan Connor 7, Patrick Ciganovic 7, Jalen Bryant 3, Dylan Biggins 2.

Hilton Head Prep girls 54, West Adelaide 37

While Basirico was denied a milestone, senior guard Kathleen Blum was not, dishing out 10 assists to become Hilton Head Prep's all-time leader. Blum also owns the school's career mark for steals -- she added five more to her total Tuesday -- having passed Alexandra Fuller for both records.

"If you take a record from Alexandra Fuller, you're doing something, because she's one of the two greatest players we've had at this school," Prep coach Bob Sulek said.

The Dolphins (15-1) were in control from the outset, building a 37-14 halftime lead and allowing their reserves plenty of playing time while cruising to their ninth consecutive victory. But their 26 turnovers were cause for concern, though Sulek chalked that statistic up to the fact it was Prep's first game since Dec. 22.

"We weren't as focused as we will be," Sulek said. "We had three starters with four turnovers, which is not good against a non-aggressive defense. That's two weeks of rust."

Kate Brunori scored 16 points and Jill Brunori had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead Prep, which opens SCISAA Region 3-AAA play against Porter-Gaud on Friday.

Hilton Head Prep girls 54, West Adelaide 37

HILTON HEAD PREP -- Kate Brunori 16, Jill Brunori 14, Jamese Franklin 9, Grace Anderson 7, Lane Czura 4, Brooke Churchich 2, Kathleen Blum 2.

WEST ADELAIDE -- Maddy Wormald 16, Mackenzie Brown 7, Mickey Lappin 7, Alex Pearce 3, Morgan Treloar 2, Felicity Cox 2.