TUCKERS 75, PORTERS 65 (OT)
The Mattituck Tuckers undoubtedly knew that if they wanted to emerge from Friday night’s non-league boys basketball game against the finely tuned Greenport Porters with a win that they were going to have to put some hard work in. As it turned out, four minutes of overtime and a tremendous effort by Gene Allen did the trick.
Allen scored 17 points from the fourth quarter on, and the Tuckers outscored the visitors from Greenport by 12-2 in overtime to secure a hard-fought 75-65 victory. With their first win over Greenport since December of 2003, the Tuckers (5-0 over all, 2-0 League VII) kept their unbeaten record intact.
Mattituck coach Paul Ellwood said he saw a switch flip in Allen sometime in the fourth quarter when the senior forward became the game’s dominant force. Allen put up a career-high 27 points and 25 rebounds to go with 4 steals, 3 assists and 2 blocks.
Mattituck’s strategy of getting Greenport (3-2, 3-1 League VIII) into foul trouble worked. The Porters entered overtime without two of their starters, Brian Tuthill and Austin Hooks, who fouled out in the fourth quarter. They were later joined on the bench by a third starter, Gavin Dibble, who picked up his fifth foul with 18.3 seconds left in the game.
Dibble put in 7 of his 20 points during an 11-0 run that gave the Porters a 23-17 lead 2:14 into the second quarter.
Late in the third quarter, back-to-back buckets by Hooks extended the Greenport lead to 49-38.
But Mattituck wasn’t done. Far from it. The Tuckers rallied behind the play of Allen, who scored 9 of his team’s first 11 points in the fourth quarter. Then two free throws and a putback by Parker Tuthill tied the score at 54-54 before a free throw by Will Gildersleeve put the Tuckers ahead.
The teams twice traded leads before Gildersleeve nailed a corner jumper for 3 points and a 61-56 Mattituck lead.
Shortly after, Hooks fouled out, bringing an end to what coach Ev Corwin said was the best game he ever saw the senior forward play for Greenport. Hooks finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
A Timmy Stevens layup cut Mattituck’s lead to 61-60. Then Allen sank a pair of free throws, making it 63-60 with 15.1 seconds to go in regulation time.
The Tuckers had a foul to give down the stretch but didn’t use it, and the sharp-shooting Dibble knocked down a 3-point shot from the top of the key with 9/10ths of a second left to force overtime. The fired up Dibble, who shot 6 of 13 from the field, was mobbed by teammates as he headed toward the bench to prepare for overtime.
Overtime, however, was Mattituck’s time as attrition took its toll on Greenport. The Tuckers scored the first 10 points in the extra period to gain some separation.
Mattituck’s balanced offense received 15 points and 10 rebounds from Chris Dwyer, 14 points from Gildersleeve and 13 points from Joe Tardif.
Dibble passed for 10 assists. Stevens added 12 points and Angel Colon had 10 for the Porters.
The Tuckers did a good job of protecting the ball. They made only 7 turnovers to Greenport’s 20.