WINSTED >> The two Northwestern big men, Teddy Bremer and Steven McGrath, combined to score eight of the nine Highlander points in overtime to lift their team to a 61-57 victory over the Nonnewaug Chiefs Friday night.
“Anyone who can step up we want to step up,” said Bremer a senior, “tonight it was the two of us.”
Finding Bremer and McGrath, a junior, under the basket was something the Highlanders planned on doing the whole game but weren’t able to accomplish until overtime.
“We were trying to go there whenever we had a mismatch,” said Northwestern head coach Doug Sebach. “So happy we recognized it in overtime.”
The Chiefs (5-5) who were coming off a 78-47 loss to Terryville on Thursday got tired towards the end of the game said head coach Tim Drakeley.
“Playing back to back, we were gassed in overtime,” he said. “The game was there for us, disappointed we didn’t take one from them.”
With 37 seconds left in the game, Bremer stepped to the free throw line with his team down 52-51, after missing the first free throw he hit the second one to tie the game.
The Chiefs then held on to the ball for a possible final shot, but because of tough Highlanders (8-2) defense, a shot never came.
“It was supposed to be isolation for (Christian) Metallo,” said Drakeley, “he gave up the ball and couldn’t get it back.”
Sebach told his team that they needed to use the energy they used on the final play of the game and take it into overtime if they wanted to win.
“Don’t waste that energy, if you’re going to work hard on the last play, take it the next step and win the game in overtime,” he said.
Throughout the first four quarters of the game the teams went back and forth, with the Highlanders leading for most of the first and second quarter, but the Chiefs scored at the buzzer of each quarter to take the lead.
Nick DeCicco, a sophomore, hit a three-pointer to give them a 16-13 lead after the first quarter and Nick Uberti hit another three-pointer to give the Chiefs a 31-29 lead at halftime.
The Highlanders though would regain the lead at the beginning of each ensuing quarter.
“We kept playing together, it was important to stick together,” said Bremer.
Northwestern did just that, sticking to their full court press which resulted in Nonnewaug turnovers and easy points for the Highlanders.
“The turnovers were the difference,” said Drakeley. “You can’t give them 10 extra points under the basket.”
The Highlanders led Nonnewaug 42-38 after the third quarter.
McGrath finished with a team high 15 points, Zach Tuxbury, 13 points, and John Lippincott, 11 points, led the way for the Highlanders in the first half.
Metallo, a senior, finished with a game high 17 points in the loss for the Chiefs and Seth Losure, a junior, added 15 points.
With the win the Highlanders are now 8-1 in Berkshire League play, 8-2 overall, and though Sebach is happy with the win he said he wasn’t happy with the way his team played and if they can repeat their first half of the season in the second half he’ll be happy.
Nonnewaug returns to action next Tuesday at home against Gilbert at 7 p.m.
The Highlanders play host to Lewis Mills (8-2) Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Northwestern 61 Nonnewaug 57
Northwestern 16 13 13 10 (9)—61
Nonnewaug 13 18 7 14 (5)—57
Northwestern (61): Rich Persechino 3-2-9; Zach Tuxbury 5-0-13; John Lippincott 4-3-11; Will Scharenberg 1-0-2; Devin Warren 1-0-2; Teddy Bremer 3-2-8; Steve McGrath 6-3-15. Totals 23-10-61
Nonnewaug (57): Chris Pills 0-0-0; Nick Uberti 5-0-12; Ryan Gunnoud 0-0-0; Christian Metallo 7-0-17; Seth Losure 7-1-15; Anthony Adams 0-0-0; Nick DeCicco 3-2-9; Andrew Roden 2-0-4. Totals: 24-3-57.
3—point goals: NW—Zach Tuxbury 3; Rich Persechino 2. N—Christian Matello 3; Nick Uberti 2; Nick DeCicco.
Records: Northwestern 8-2 Nonnewaug 5-5.