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Glendale ekes out win over Harmony at the buzzer
Thursday, December 13, 2012
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
FLINTON - The Glendale and Harmony boys basketball teams have formed quite a rivalry. In the last regular season game last year at Harmony, the contest came down to the wire as Harmony failed to get a shot off with just two seconds remaining on the clock.
Fast-forward to Wednesday evening at the Donald A. Kitko Gymnasium for another thriller in favor of the Vikings. With the score knotted up at 51 with just 4.4 seconds left, an inbounds pass went to Damon Braniff in the corner. Braniff found a wide-open Shea O'Donnell waiting under the basket. O'Donnell received the pass and layed in the final basket as time expired to give the Vikings a come-from-behind 53-51 victory over the Owls.
"This is what I live for," said Glendale head coach Ryan Pastva. "This is why you play."
"I thought Harmony played exceptionally. They played disciplined. They played sound. They do what Harmony does every year. I've seen it since I played in high school what they've done, year in and year out."
"The guys are taking it hard," said Harmony head coach Doug Martz. "It's an early season game after having a difficult tip-off tournament that they were prepared for.
"They were excited to play. It stings in there, but we talked about letting it sting for one night only because we have work to do. We have to come back and we have to prepare for the next one."
With Harmony leading 6-2 early in the first quarter, O'Donnell made his presence felt early with his jumpshot. He scored 10 of Glendale's 12 points in the first quarter before finding his way into foul trouble later in the first half.
"He stepped up big for us," said Pastva of O'Donnell. "The way we played in the first half with the shots that we knocked down, that's not typically the kind of offense we look for, but he knocked them down. Any offense is good offense if they're going in though, so I'm not going to complain. He did a real good job knocking big shots down. His shots were essential to winning the game."
The Owls made their first run of the game early in the second quarter with a 10-0 outburst led by Tyler Tiesi and Logan Sral. Nate Young also contributed with six points in the stanza where the Owls outscored Glendale, 14-8 to take a 25-20 lead into halftime.
"We weren't really running our offense," said Pastva. "We weren't jelling and that's something that will come with the season, I'm sure. I thought that was one area we lacked. We weren't in proper position on defense in a lot of cases. We just had to tighten the bolts on defense."
"I thought our guys came out a little sloppy. It took us a little while to make some adjustments. The third quarter really changed the tone and changed the pace of the game for us and got us back in it."
Braniff and O'Donnell each scored to cut the Vikings' deficit to just one early in the third quarter, but clutch shooting from Sral, who hit two three-pointers in the period, put Harmony's lead to nine points at the end of three quarters.
Three of the five Owl starters finished the game with double digits in scoring. Sral scored 15 points, while Young put in 14 and Tiesi chipped in with 13.
"That's why it hurts so much," said Martz. "We played one of the nicest basketball games with a team effort. We had seven guys rotating through there. They played their hearts out. We were able to get nice balanced scoring. They were finding the open guy. We're proud of that and we're proud of the progress that we showed from how we opened the season to now."
Glendale started to make their move early in the fourth quarter. Anthony Barnhart hit a trey and Marcus McCrae made a bucket to open the quarter. Later in the quarter, Barnhart went up for a rebound off a missed free throw and layed it in. On their next possession off a Harmony turnover, O'Donnell's layup cut the deficit back to one with 3:23 remaining.
Two buckets from Braniff and Barnhart and three free throws from Tyler Tiesi tied the game at 51 with just under a minute left. Glendale couldn't get a play set up, so Pastva called timeout with 4.4 seconds left, setting up O'Donnell's heroics.
"Everything that happened was exactly how I drew it up," said Pastva. "It worked out the way I drew it up. I wanted to get a one-on-one situation and that's what we got."
"We were worried about screens on the strong side of the court where they were inbounding the ball," said Martz. "We had talked about screens and passes toward the basket rather quickly because there were only four seconds left. Credit to the Glendale kids because they executed very well. The kid makes a nice pass and Shea did a beautiful job with the finish.
"We had a nine-point lead going into the fourth quarter. It's not easy with an up-and-coming team with some new bodies coming in. You can't give them quite enough credit for the job that they did in finishing the game. We didn't prove that we could finish at this point. That's a challenge to our team. We talked about being able to finish in those situations and hopefully we learn from it."
After the game, both coaches talked about their enjoyment of the rivalry and how the kids circle the dates of the Harmony-Glendale games on their calendar.
The teams will meet again on February 14 at Harmony.
"Both schools offer a hard-working mentality," said Pastva. "All the guys have a chip on their shoulder and they play with pride. That's what it's about. They play for their school. They play for their name on the front of their shirt. Both schools do that and that really sets a tone in the game."
"For as long as I've been around the series and what I notice, you don't get a team caught sleeping that night because of the rivalry," said Martz. "Not only do the teams have a rivalry, but I think there's also a mutual respect there. A lot of times over the years there have been friendships between the two schools. The two teams both want to beat each other bad. I just think that both teams play their best basketball when we play each other. We probably play our best basketball against Glendale and that's out of respect for them."
Harmony won the junior varsity game, 31-30. Brandon Fox led the Owls with 11 points, while Bill Snyder scored nine for the Vikings.
Glendale (2-0) hosts Mount Union on Friday, while Harmony (0-3) travels to Curwensville on Tuesday.

Novella 3 0-2 6, Young 7 0-4 14, Tiesi 4 5-6 13, Sral 6 1-2 15, Lucas 1 0-0 3, Kurtz 0 0-0 0, Fox 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 6-14 51.
Barnhart 5 1-4 13, O'Donnell 10 0-0 20, Schultz 0 0-0 0, McCrae 4 1-2 10, Braniff 5 0-0 10, Sinclair 0 0-1 0, Witherow 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 2-7 53.
Three-pointers: Sral 2, Lucas; Barnhart 2, McCrae.
Score by Quarters
Harmony 11 14 17  9-51
Glendale 12  8 13 20-53
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