WINSTED — Gilbert’s boys basketball team worked its way back to a 68-67 double-overtime win over Litchfield after starting the game in a 14-point hole Friday night at The Gilbert School.
The Cowboys (8-7; 8-5 Berkshire League) came out on fire with three first-quarter threes from Tripp Melk (team-high 25 points) and two more in the second quarter from Jared Guilmart (20 points, 4 threes) while driving to the hoop at will.
That built them a 23-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and 41-28 at the half. In a game that seemed destined for a blowout, Melk had 19 points by the half, Guilmart, 12.
Stay up to date with the latest high school sports news by signing up for the free GameTimeCT newsletter
Unnoticed in the Cowboy success was Gilbert’s 21-18 margin in the second quarter.
“We started slowing it down. That slowed them down and we worked as a team on defense,” said guard Joe Brugmann, who scored seven of his nine points in the second quarter.
“We were trying to keep our heads,” said forward Juan Sarmiento (game-high 28 points), with a pair of threes in the period.
“We just had to keep on focusing,” said Yellowjacket coach Mark Douglass. “We can score points, too.”
The Yellowjackets (7-8; 6-7 Berkshire League) inched closer in the third quarter, with a 13-10 edge, whittling the Cowboy lead to 51-44, then showed their best stuff in the fourth, stifling Litchfield 13-6 with the equalizer coming in a great pass from Juan Sarmiento to Carlos Sarmiento under the basket for a layup for a 57-57 tie.
The Cowboys came back from a six-point deficit in the first overtime with two key buckets from sophomore Matt Rousseau off the bench and a tying drive from Evan Fischthal, 64-64.
In the second overtime, Fischthal earned a one-point Litchfield lead from the foul line with 55 seconds left; Juan Sarmiento missed a turnaround bank shot and Litchfield called time out with 33 seconds.
Juan Sarmiento stole the inbounds pass. Hunter Smith (17 points) hit a turn-around three-foot bank with 14 seconds left.
The game belonged to the Yellowjackets.
“I’m used to the pressure; I don’t it go to my head,” said Hunter.
“What a game on both ends,” said Coach Douglass.
Gilbert 68, Litchfield 67 (2 OT)
At The Gilbert School
Litchfield 23 18 10 6 7 3 — 67
Gilbert 7 21 16 13 7 4 — 68
Litchfield (67): Miles Chapman 3-0-6; Tom Brady 1-0-3; Tripp Melk 8-5-25; Jared Guilmart 8-0-20; Matt Rousseau 2-0-4; Matt Gostkowki 2-0-4; Evan Fischthal 2-1-5; Totals: 27-6-67.
Gilbert (68): Joe Brugmann 4-1-9; Carlos Sarmiento 2-2-6; Hunter Smith 7-3-17; Connor Bailey 0-2-2; Dylan Crowley 1-0-2; Juan Sarmiento 9-7-28; Matt Ma 2-0-4; Totals: 25-15-68.
3-point goals: L — Brady; Melk 4; Guilmart 4. G — J. Sarmiento 3.
Records: Litchfield 8-7; 8-5 Berkshire League. Gilbert 7-8; 6-7 Berkshire League.