The Boothbay and Hall-Dale boys basketball teams were locked in a tight Mountain Valley Conference battle Jan. 21 at Porter Gymnasium. No. 4 Boothbay trailed No. 1 Hall-Dale 54 to 49 when Bulldog senior forward Alec Byron scored his 1,000th career point with 1.3 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The game was stopped leaving Boothbay an unexpected opportunity to score at quarter’s end.
Boothbay forward Nicholas Morley hurled a baseball pass toward teammate Hunter Crocker down court. But six-foot-five inch Hall-Dale center Ashtyn Abbott leaped and intercepted the pass at the top of Boothbay’s circle. Abbott, who is within 80 points of becoming a 1,000-point scorer, landed and hurled the ball toward the Bulldog basket. The 60-foot desperation heave beat the buzzer and scorched the net for a 3-pointer. So in less than two seconds, Hall-Dale’s lead doubled from to five to 10.
What had been a close encounter for the better part of three quarters was now one firmly in Hall-Dale’s control. The Bulldogs’ high-powered offense was fueled by outstanding perimeter shooting and hard charging transition game which expanded their lead to as many as 18 points in the final quarter. Hall-Dale, sparked by the five-point spurt, dominated the fourth quarter and scored an 88-73 victory over Boothbay. For Seahawk coach I.J. Pinkham, the last seconds of the third quarter was the game’s pivotal moment.
“Once he hit that shot it really hurt us,” he said. “But overall, I thought we played hard. They just beat us up the floor, and scored too many points in transition. We struggle with our man-to-man defense so we played zone and they really picked us apart. So we need to do a better job on closing out on the shooters.”
On offense, the Seahawks fared well against Hall-Dale’s man-to-man defense. Boothbay’s top scorers were senior Steve Reny with 21 and Crocker added 19. Other Seahawk scorers were Ben Pearce with 15, Kaleb Ames with nine, Morley with eight and Sullivan Rice with three. For Hall-Dale, Byron scored his 1,000th point on his 18th and final point of the game. Abbott led all scorers with 26 points.
This is Boothbay’s third loss in four games. The Seahawks are 10-3 and remain in fourth place. Hall-Dale (11-1) moves to the top spot in the Heal point standings. Boothbay travels to Winthrop Wednesday to play the No. 2 Ramblers (11-1).