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March 25, 2019

2/15/2019 1:38:00 PM
Down 6 with under :15 left Vikings find way to win

Pecatonica's boys basketball team had just enough 'fuel-in-the-tank' to prevail during a tough road assignment Friday in Green County - winning a conference divisional 'nail-biter' at Monticello, edging coach Mark Olson's Ponies 64-63. The Vikings pulled out, arguably, the most unlikely hoops comeback win in school history. Not only did Pec trail the Ponies by 6 points with only 15 seconds to play but the Ponies were at their own free throw line, clearly looking to extend a Monticello advantage.
But, following a Pony 1+1 miss, Pec quickly got the ball downcourt, to a corner, from which Carter Ruegsegger quickly and surgically, drained a trey, pulling Pec within three points at the 11 second mark.
Pec players immediately fouled and when a Pony missed another front end of a 1+1, the ball went out of bounds, yet did so off a Pec player. Thus, when the Ponies inbounded the ball, Pec players fouled yet again, this time fouling Pony veteran Reece Rufer who was also unable to connect on either of his two chances.
Still leading by three points and on their own home court, Monticello players - surprisingly, elected to foul, seemingly trying to avoid Pec players having a 'trey opportunity to 'tie'. But, with the clock stopped, Viking senior Jaden Hendrickson calmly hit a pair of charity throws, pulling Pec within one point (63-62) at the 8 second mark.
Pec's Ruegsegger then was able to steal the ball on the Ponies' inbounds play and he immediately flipped the ball to Everett Johnson, who promptly scored on a lay-up at the three second mark, giving his team the lead, and inevitably, the Pecatonica win - all in a game which had appeared out of reach.
Jaden Hendrickson finished with a team-high 20 points for coach Matt Fink's squad, Johnson had 15, Colton Schraepfer contributed 10 and Ruegsegger added nine more. The Vikings had entered the game in third place and the Ponies are the league's fourth place squad.
Peter Gustavson had a team-high 21 points for the host Ponies, including his electrifying 18 in the first half, before Pec defenders clamped down on him following intermission. Gustafson's teammate, Rufer, added 20 and Devin Holz chipped in with 14.
"That was a wild, wild finish, one that does not usually play out that way for the team trailing," said Fink. "It was a game where we trailed by 10 earlier, had experienced a lot of ealy foul trouble, had to play zone - and then after the half, we put Jaden (Hendrickson) on Gustafson in the man-to-man and Jaden did a great job defending him the rest of the way."
Pecatonica has a 7:30 p.m. varsity game tonight (Thursday, Feb. 14) and the Pec boys will celebrate Presidents' Day (Monday, Feb. 18) in Potosi, battling the host Chieftains in a 7:30 p.m. match-up. The Vikings host the Albany Comets Thursday night, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Pecatonica 64 Monticello 63
Pecatonica 29 35 -64
Monticello 36 27 - 63
Pecatonica (fg-ft-tp) Johnson 6-1-15, Schraepfer 5-0-10, J. Hendrickson 6-7-20, Eaton 4-0-8, Ruegsegger 3-0-9 B. Hendrickson 1-0-2. Three-pointers: Johnson 2, J. Hendrickson, Ruegsegger 3. Totals: 19 6 8-13 64. Fouls: 18
Monticello (ft-ft-tp) Blohowiak 2-0-4, Holtz 4-3-14, Gustafson 7-6-21, Long 1-1-4. Three-pointers: Holtz 3, Gustafson, Long. Totals: 16 (5) 16-23 63. Fouls: 13.

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