A true leader emerges in PCL

By Eric Clutter Record-Courier staff writer Published:

PALMYRA - Windham played from behind for most of Tuesday night's game at Southeast. But when it mattered most, it was the Bombers who walked off the floor with a key Portage County League cross-division road win. Tim Powell's layup off a feed from Norm Trask with 24 seconds remaining proved to be the winning basket as Windham edged the Pirates 52-50 in a defensive battle. "A close game like this is good on the road," said Bombers coach Marty Hill. "This has been a tough place for us to play. I think this is the first time we have won here in five years." With the score tied 50-50, Windham took possession with 1:06 to go. Southeast, which had two fouls to give, did so, and the Bombers continued to keep possession. Trask, who led the Bombers with 19 points, dribbled out near the top of the key before making a move down the lane. He then found Powell under the basket, who laid the ball in as he was fouled. "At the end we really executed well," said Hill. "We ran the clock down and went to our spread offense. Timmy went backdoor and got a big layup. "In a close game like this, some of it is just breaks. We got the breaks to go our way at the end. This is a big one to win on the road." Powell missed his free throw, and Southeast gained possession and called timeout with 17 seconds left. With their No. 1 option _ Mark Lavigna off a screen _ covered on the ensuing play, the Pirates swung the ball around into the hands of Jimmy Seaman at the top of the arc as the clock wound under 10 seconds. With an open look at the basket, Seaman, the Pirates' top scorer with 21 points, launched a 3-pointer that would have won the game. But the shot missed, Windham got the rebound and ran out the remaining time. "I think it was just two teams playing with a lot on the line. And to their credit they found a way to win at the end," said Southeast coach Bob Dunn, whose team slipped one-half game behind first-place Field in the PCL American Division standings. "We had our chances. "It was a good game between two good teams. I respect their kids and Marty. We got a look at the end and it was a good look. When you get a wide-open look and your best shooter is shooting the ball, you can't ask for anything more than that." The Bombers (8-3 overall, 5-1 PCL) scored the game's first five points. But after Lavigna's 3-pointer with 2:40 left in the opening quarter gave the Pirates an 8-5 lead, Windham did not regain the advantage until the final seconds. Southeast (6-3, 4-2 PCL) established a pair of 10-point leads _ 22-12 early in the second quarter and 44-34 late in the third quarter _ but could not make them last. Trask's basket two minutes into the final quarter concluded a 9-0 run that brought the Bombers to within 44-43. Southeast pushed it back out to five points, 48-43, but a Matt Collier 3-pointer and another hoop by Trask, one in which he used every inch of his 6-foot frame to tip in a Mike Hill miss, evened things at 48. The Pirates' Dan Pringle and Windham's Bryan Stanley then exchanged baskets, setting the stage for Powell's winning bucket. Lavigna finished with 14 points.

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