Story by: Matt Munhall, Oregon Tech Athletics
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. - In the Quarterfinals of the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament presented by U.S. Bank, the No. 3 seed Hustlin’ Owls of Oregon Tech (22-9) came from behind in the second half, to win on a buzzer beater over the No. 6 seeded Corban Warriors (17-13) on Danny Miles Court by a score of 65-63.
The game started out with both teams playing conservatively, while the foes worked to figure one another out. The Warriors took the lead on the first basket of the game and worked hard to hold onto it, jumping out to a 5-point lead. The Owls were quick to respond pulling the game back to a 1-point differential. The scoring continued to go back-and-forth, neither team able to pull away.
With just over 3:00 minutes left in the half, Corban found the separation they were looking for going on an 8-1 run over the home team. Tech responded with a 8-1 run of their own, seeing the score level at 35-35 with a lay in by Tyler Hieb, in the final :02 seconds of the half. A quick inbound pass from the away team gave Jett Sobotta one last buzzer beating look at the hoop, as he launched the shot from behind half court, catching nothing but net. The basket sent the two teams off the floor for halftime with the Warriors leading 38-35.
Coming back onto the court for the second half, Corban stretched their lead again, going on a 13-4 run. The 9-point differential created some adversity for the home Owls over the next 9:00 minutes of the game. Buckling down on defense, the Owls hustle sent them on a 10-1 run, bringing the game back within 2 points at 56-54. With just over 5:00 minutes left to play in the game the Warriors called a timeout to regroup.
Off the timeout, Tech lit up the gym tying up the score on two free-throws by Tyler Hieb and taking the lead with a nothing-but-net 3-pointer by Scotty Burge. The Owls continued to drop their shots, taking the lead to 6 points, but Corbans’ defense stopped Tech on the next two possessions. Converting them on the other end with a tip-in and back-to-back dunks, saw the score level one last time at 63-63.
With the ball in the Owls hands, and only :08 seconds left on the clock, an inbound play set up for Mitchell Fink allowed him to get off the shot. Clanging off the rim, the missed shot provided one last moment for something dramatic to happen, as Jalen Carvalho out jumped his defender on the backside of the paint, tipping the ball back towards the hoop, as the buzzer sounded. The tip-in dropped for the final 2 points of the contest, taking the score to 65-63, and sending the gym into a frenzy.
On the night, the Warriors had two players in double-digits, with Joel Johnson’s double-double leading the way, scoring 19-points and grabbing 12 rebounds. AJ Monterossi added 17-points of his own.
The Hustiln’ Owls were led by Mitchell Fink, putting up 33 points, while grabbing 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Jalen Carvalho grabbed 10 rebounds to go with his game winning shot.
The win for the Hustlin’ Owls advances them into the semi-final round of the CCC Tournament, as they will travel to Portland, Oregon to take on the No. 2 seed Warner Pacific, Saturday night, February 24.