BOLTON LANDING - A barrage of three pointers, key clutch plays and one-sided foul problems defined a boys basketball game Monday that was decided twice in a final moment - bringing fans and coaches to their feet.
Trailing in both regulation with just seconds on the clock - and then in overtime with milliseconds remaining, Warrensburg fought back and managed to win by one point over the Bolton Eagles in a 67-66 basketball game that launched the 2009 season for both teams.
While at times Warrensburg was winning by as many as 10 to 12 points, Bolton fought back through the contest by sinking a total of 11 three-pointers which gave them the lead in both regulation, then in overtime with seconds to go.
In regulation play, Bolton's torrent of threes put them ahead by a comfortable margin while only seconds remained.
"It looked very grim at this point," Burgher Coach Rich Schloss said after the game.
Down 6 points with 6 seconds left, Burgher Junior Mike Curtis then sank a three-pointer, Bolton answered back with a basket, the Burghers fouled on purpose and retrieved the ball, and Burgher Senior Brendan Frye hit a second three - then Frye made two foul shots with a mere 1.1 seconds on the clock to send the game into a four-minute overtime.
While the lead changed hands in this four-minute extra session, Bolton was again on top as the final seconds counted down.
Eagle senior Dom Pfau drove to the basket but was fouled, and his shot put Bolton up by one point with 9.8 seconds to go. Burgher Senior Mike Perrone shot a jumper from the corner but it was long, teammate Ryan Belden rebounded then threw up a Hail Mary under the basket - it came up short - but junior John Joseph rebounded it, tipping it in as the buzzer sounded.
Frye with 33 points and Pfau with 27 points led the offensive show, highlighted by Bolton's three-point shots which frustrated the Burghers defense, Coach Schloss said.
"It was unbelievable," he said. "Whenever we were up 8, 10 or 12 points, they'd throw three-pointers on us. We went into a tight 2-3 zone then lightened up into a 1-2-3 to fight it, but they still shot them," he said. "We were in their face, but they still hit their threes."
Eagle Coach Dave Montero said his team enjoyed their long-distance firepower.
"The threes kept us in the game," he said.
Fouls, however, may have shut them out. Bolton committed four fouls in the game's opening minutes, and had several players in foul trouble early on.
At the end of the first quarter, Montero switched to a zone defense, helping contain the flurry of fouls.
But by the end of regulation, Bolton lost two starters, plus a third during overtime. Warrensburg, however, had no foul-outs, although two starters finished with four infractions.
Backing up Frye's blistering offense were Belden with 11 points, Joseph with 10, Curtis with 7, Sophomore Hunter Werner with 4 and Senior Ben Nicols with 2.
For Bolton, Pfau was assisted by Senior Matt Peterson with 11, Freshman Bill Smith with 10, Junior Tyler Calzada with 8, and Sophomore Mitchell Jordan, Junior Matt Smith and Senior Dan Brown with 3 and Junior Caleb Kneeshaw, 1.
Burgher Coach Rich Schloss complimented Bolton's aggressive play and blistering offense.
"Bolton has a really good squad," he said. "They'll do very well this year."
Normally stingy with compliments, Schloss added that he was proud of his own squad's two last-second, come-from-behind scrambles which showed their tenacity.
"Our team just never gave up - our players could have quit but we fought back and won," he said, adding praise for Hunter Werner, who off the bench hit two critical shots. "And Brendan Frye really 'lit it up' with 33 points - it was fun, but we have a lot of work to do for the season."
Bolton has a full schedule ahead, with a matchup against Crown Point Friday, Westport on Monday and Lake Placid on Tuesday, Montero said.
"Warrensburg's a tough team with their experienced returning Seniors," he said adding praise for the Burghers. "They'll be contending for the championship in the Adirondack League West Division."