Triple Overtime Triumph


Shelbee Burke, Web Editor

Last Friday, the Alliance Boy’s Basketball team experienced something at the Ogallala game that hasn’t happened in a game for the past 15 years- triple overtime. After the ball was knocked out of bounds by Alliance, Ogallala was inbounding right by their bench with one second left on the clock. The bulldog players made a great defensive effort but, an Ogallala player cut and was able to get open and shoot a shot- that he air-balled. An Ogallala player down low was able to rebound and make a shot under the basket, making the score at the end of regulation 48-48. This sent the game into its first overtime. But is it possible for all of this to happen in only one second? Head Coach Michael Baker stated, “We don’t have replay like the pros and colleges so they make a ruling and you have to put your frustration aside and go on.”

During this game, Alliance was able to succeed in many areas. Baker explained, “They kept their poise. Ogallala is really aggressive and they try to confuse you and frustrate you. Especially in the first half, this didn’t affect us at all. The second half a person could say we were affected but we were just missing shots.” He continued saying, “The way the game ended in regulation was very frustrating but the guys just put that behind them in the first and second overtime when they fell behind and didn’t get rattled.”

Not everything went perfectly for the Bulldogs though. Baker remarked, “They were missing shots in the second half. They scored 38 points in the first half and 10 in the third and fourth quarter. That’s the nature of the game, sometimes you’re making them and sometimes you’re not.” He went on to say, “If we would’ve made just a couple more baskets or free throws then we wouldn’t have gone into overtime.”

The last time Alliance went into triple overtime, Baker was an Assistant Coach. This game was in 2006 against Gering at WNCC. He said “It was more heart wrenching because we lost in the District Finals. It was a really low scoring game, an uglier game. You just think about that for months because if you do one thing different you win and you go to state.” 

Numerous stats helped the bulldogs earn this win. Senior Chase King was able to take four charges in this game, which is unheard of in most games. Their assists were high and turnovers were low, and they were able to force Ogallala into having many turnovers. Baker explained, “One of the biggest things [that helped the Bulldog’s win] was Ogallala’s field goal percentage. They only made 37% of their shots. Our defense was really good throughout.” Senior Caeson Clarke was the leading scorer with 37 points. He was able to score four three-pointers, two of which were in the third overtime, and was 100% from the free-throw line. Junior Kellen Muhr had 11 points while seniors Jaron Matulka and Crayten Cyza each had eight. Clarke was the leading rebounder with 14, while King had five boards and Cyza had four.

The final score of this game was 69-61. The Alliance Boy’s Basketball record improved to 13-4. They will take on Gering next at home on Friday, January 29. Best of luck with the rest of the season!