Overtime and a tie ballgame in the Berkshire semifinal vs. Northwestern.
Shepaug’s Owen Hibbard gets double teamed in the corner and throws up a prayer….
My goodness. Shepaug advances to the BL final, 61-58
— Sean Patrick Bowley (@SPBowley) March 24, 2021
As the school’s all-time leading scorer, Owen Hibbard is already a legend in Shepaug boys basketball history. Though he’ll will miss out on a second-consecutive state playoff experience because of COVID-19, the senior 5-10 point guard is at least making sure he ends his shortened career in style.
Hibbard’s 3-point prayer at the buzzer lifted Shepaug to a 61-58 overtime victory over top-seeded and regular-season champion Northwestern in the Berkshire Semifinals Tuesday night.
Hibbard, who shattered Erik Kershnar’s 34-year old career scoring record earlier this season, will now get to finish his senior season in a championship game.
Shepaug, the No. 4 seed, will face No. 3-seeded Terryville, a 43-33 winner over Nonnewaug, in search of its first Berkshire League Tournament title since 2009. The championship will be Friday. Terryville won the only meeting of the two schools, 58-55, on Feb. 26.
Shepaug (9-4) lost to Northwestern (12-2) twice this year by 6 and 15 points, respectively. In the semifinals, Northwestern led 47-42 after four quarters, but Shepaug rallied to tie the game in regulation and then held the Highlanders scoreless in the extra session.
Hibbard finished with a game-best 27 points, including three 3-pointers and was clearly a marked man on the final play. Cole Davenport added 17 and Luke Schneider 9 for the Spartans.
Jake Brodnitzki led Northwestern with 17 points and Curtis Blische had 16.
Hibbard and the Spartans last played in the BL final two years ago, but lost to Wamogo 74-47. Hibbard, then a sophomore, scored a team-high 21 points in that game. The semifinal was the Spartans’ first game of the tournament. Litchfield forfeited Friday’s quarterfinal game, putting Shepaug into the semifinal.
Terryville will be playing for its first title since 2014.
Northwestern will finish its season with a consolation game at home vs. Thomaston on Wednesday, 7 p.m.