Gann Drops Maimo in Thrilling OT Contest
Facing Maimo in the annual match up of two great rival schools, Gann was able to overcome a sluggish first half and scrap its way to an overtime victory, 71-65.
Gann and the Maimo boys varsity basketball squared off in their yearly, highly anticipated prime-time contest Saturday night at Brandeis University. With Maimo sitting a 9-1 on the year and currently ranked 12th by Jewish Hoops America and Gann coming in with an 8-3 overall record and cracking into the JHA rankings this past week at #25, this years contest came with some additional hype and even more at stake than usual. Gann jumped out to an quick 9-3 lead in the opening minutes only to see Maimo methodically carve its way through the Gann defense on its way to a 37-26 halftime lead. The second half started much as the first half ended, with Maimo continuing to slice up the Gann defense and continuing to hold the typically high scoring, fast pace Gann offense at bay. With under 9 minutes to go Maimo found itself still holding an 11 point lead but with Gann starting to pick up its own defensive pace thanks thanks to yet another energy changing performance by Noah Lion off the bench that lead to back to back to back turnovers by Maimo and cutting the lead down to under 5 with 6 minutes to go. Gann continued its assault on both ends, tying the contest with under 3minutes to go and eventually pushing to a 59-56 lead with under one to go. Maimo was able to drain a long 3 to tie the game with 30 seconds remaining and after both teams failed to score on subsequent possessions, Gann found itself with the ball with 1.1 seconds on the clock and a chance to pull off the victory. A perfectly executed sideline inbounds lob pass found its way right into Senior Yahm Rone's hands by the rim but Rones was unable to hit the mark as the clock expired, sending the game into overtime, tied at 59-59. Maimo jumped out to a 4 point lead in overtime, at which time Yahm Rones took the matter into his own hands, scoring 10 consecutive Gann points and giving Gann a 4 point lead with under one minute to go. "Senior leadership is what comes to mind right now," said Coach Nole after the game. "After narrowly missing that shot at the end of regulation that would have won the game, he (Rones) could have very easily lost composure, lost focus, and mentally checked out. Instead, what does he do but come right back in OT and takes the game into his own hands and puts in 10 to lead us to victory. Wow is about all I can say right now", said Nole. With Gann up 69-65 and 30 seconds to go, the Gann defense was able to hold off multiple 3 point attempts by Maimo and two clutch free throws by Izy Altman-Sagan sealed the deal. Gann was led by Rones with 19, Sagan with 14, Eli Cole with 11, and Matt Gluck with 10 points and double digit rebounds. With the win Gann moves to 9-3 overall and returns to action Tuesday night vs. Boston Trinity.