Over the course of the past few years, basketball games between Trinity and Canon-McMillan have come down to the last possession.
Big Macs guard Sam Bohn made sure that wouldn’t happen this time.
Bohn hit a big three-point field goal, followed by a pull-up jumper to break open a four-point game late in the fourth quarter and lead the Big Macs to a 64-56 win in Section 4-AAAA.
“It seems like every time we have met over the course of the past three or four years, things come down to the final shot,” said Canon-McMillan head coach Rick Bell. “I will say what I like to tell everyone, and that’s, ‘I’m glad Sam Bohn is on my team.’ He can hurt you in different ways. Tonight, it was by scoring. Against Beaver Falls and Chartiers Valley, it was by not turning the ball over. He’s an unbelievable and smart player.”
It took every bit of Bohn’s heroics to fight off the Hillers.
Trinity (0-4, 2-8) was aggressive early on and competed for most of the first half.
They held a lead for most of the first quarter as the Big Macs struggled to connect from the perimeter until Alex Hammers tied the game at 13-13 with a late three-pointer. Hammers then hit a pull-up jumper in the lane to give Canon-McMillan (2-1, 5-4) a 15-13 lead after the first quarter.
Trinity responded with a 9-0 run to start the second quarter and take a 22-15 lead. The Hillers had success dumping the ball down low as freshman Saul Wells helped carry the offense.
Trinity would score just three points the rest of the quarter.
After a Big Macs’ timeout, Canon-McMillan pressed the Hillers and scored layups off those turnovers.
Big Macs’ freshman Britton Beachy made back-to-back layups to give C-M a 25-23 lead and the Big Macs never looked back. They closed the first half on a 16-3 run to take a 31-25 halftime lead.
“I have to give one of assistant coaches, Charles Murphy, the credit,” said Bell. “Coming out of the timeout, he said let’s hit them with some pressure, and it changed the complexion of the game.”
The Big Macs picked up where they left off to begin the second half, forcing turnovers and stretching their lead to 12.
But Trinity would come back.
One of Nick Moretti’s four three-pointers pulled Trinity to within four at 44-39, but more problems taking care of the basketball quickly found Trinity back down nine to close the third quarter.
Trinity would pull to within four, 50-46, in the fourth quarter on a layup and free throw from Nick Haynes, but ultimately the mistakes were too much to overcome as the Hillers dropped their seventh straight game.
“Our conversations are going to be the same until we clean some of this stuff up,” said Trinity head coach Tim Tessmer. “It’s just way too many turnovers and simple mistakes. I loved the way we compete, but until we start taking care of the ball and not turning it over so much, we aren’t going to get better results.”
Trinity appeared to have the momentum in the fourth quarter until Bohn stepped into a three, which proved to be a dagger for the Hillers as it extended the Big Macs lead to three possessions.
“That was it,” said Bohn. “We played them Saturday, so they were familiar with all our sets but after I knocked down that three, I said to myself that was the winner.”
Bohn led all scorers with 23 while Hammers chipped in 18 for the Big Macs. The Hillers received solid offensive games from Moretti and Wells, who finished with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
“It was a big win,” said Bell. “Trinity has really improved from the way they started out the season. You can’t have a let down in this section. At the end of the year, we don’t want to look back and have a regret. It was a big win. With all the adversity our team has faced this year, I will take it.”