View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Foothill League boys basketball: Cents thrill in two OTs

Jeremy Gatewood’s night proves to be the difference

Posted: January 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Looks like Saugus has a hero to call its own.

On Tuesday night against Valencia boys basketball, he went by the name of Jeremy Gatewood.

His 34 points and 3-pointer with seven seconds left in the second overtime elevated the Centurions to an 83-81 double-overtime win over Valencia at Saugus High School.

“We’ve spent way too many hours in the weight room and way too much sweat to fall to 0-3 (in the Foothill League),” said Saugus head coach Derek Ballard.

In Saugus’ first league victory of the year, Gatewood matched his career-high in single game points, equaling his mark of 34 on Dec. 30, 2010 against Hart.

He made four 3-pointers in the game and two in the second overtime alone, along with several other key shots down the stretch.

It’s the third best all-time single game total for a player at Saugus (11-8, 1-2), and it came at a crucial time when the Centurions were in danger of losing a second straight close game at home.

“We were finally able to finish a game,” Gatewood said, pausing to receive a congratulatory handshake from a teammate. “I don’t even know what to say.”

Gatewood’s game-winning shot was set up by a controversial turnover when Valencia’s Troy Hammel was triple-teamed on the previous possession.

While Valencia head coach Rocket Collins argued Hammel called a timeout, the officials ruled it a jump ball.

Possession went to the Centurions.

When Saugus and Valencia boys basketball last faced off on Dec. 30 in a non-Foothill League matchup, it was Hammel whose clutch performance helped decide things in the end.

The Vikings (13-6, 1-2) came out on top 60-53 in that game.

And although Hammel once again played at a high level, scoring 27 points on Tuesday night, his team came up just short and lost its second straight league game.

Saugus captured momentum late in the third quarter with Valencia leading 49-44, only to see the Centurions knock down three straight 3-pointers, including Gatewood’s buzzer-beating, half-court shot to put his team up 50-49 headed into the fourth.

Then the drama really began.

Valencia had to rally back from a 66-62 deficit in the final 30 seconds of regulation, capped off by two pressure free throws from center Michael Zerpoli, who finished with 17 rebounds and six points, to send the teams into overtime at 66-66.

The Centurions again took the upper hand when two Gatewood foul shots gave Saugus a 73-70 lead with 21 seconds left in the first overtime.

“We had the character each time to go into the overtimes and take charge of it,” Ballard said. “Valencia had to do something each time to stay in it.”

This time around, it was Hammel who drained a three with 13 seconds to go, tying it again at 73-73 headed into overtime No. 2.

In addition to Gatewood’s pair of threes, Saugus center Mitch Davis also his the first 3-pointer of his career in the final overtime period, giving the senior nine points and 13 rebounds.

In all, Saugus made 13-of-33 shots from long range, but sunk 4-of-8 in the two overtimes.

“Saugus hit some threes and made some plays,” said Valencia head coach Rocket Collins. “I’m not going to say we didn’t because we did, too. They just made one more than us.”

Valencia led most of the way, but never by more than six points, and that came after an 11-0 run to finish off the first quarter with a 17-11 lead, which translated into a 32-30 Vikings advantage by halftime.

Saugus has snapped its short league losing skid. Now it’s Valencia trying to get past a losing streak.

“We’ll keep playing,” Collins said. “Play every game to win.”


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...