With the game hanging in the balance, East Newton’s Sam Swartz stepped up and nailed a jumper at the buzzer to lift the Patriots to a thrilling 61-59 victory over Sarcoxie at the Pierce City tournament.
Swartz, who finished with 21 points, took a pass in the waning seconds, began to drive to the basket and pulled up with a jumper near the free throw line to beat the buzzer and send the Patriots into frenzy.
East Newton (1-2) held a 16-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Bears hit a bevy of 3-pointers in the second half to pull even.
Bryce Zimmerman poured in 14 for the Patriots while Colby Thomas chipped in nine, Payton Cook eight, Deion Clark five, Rocky Liveoak and Aaron Millet two.
Mettlach and Lynch scored 17 points each while Triplett finished with 11 and Myers 10.
“Our kids played the toughest game they’ve played this year,” Patriots coach Kyle Fields said. “They got after it and our defense played better. They played tough down the stretch at the end to win.”
On Friday the Patriots fell to Verona, 59-39.
After holding a 10-6 lead after the first quarter, the Patriots didn’t have an answer for the Wildcats in the second period as they went on a 17-2 run and took the lead for good. Verona went on to score a combined 40 points in the second half as its offense came alive.
Asencion Estrada poured in 25 points and Seth Losack added 13 to lead the Wilcats.
Bryce Zimmerman paced the Patriots with 20 points while Sam Swartz turned in seven, Colby Thomas and Rocky Liveoak five and Aaron Millet two.