Abbotsford (OnFocus) – A closely contested game saw Loyal hold an advantage throughout, building leads only to see Abbotsford fight back repeatedly. The Falcons final attempt to come back from a 7 point deficit with 4 seconds remaining came down to a shot at the buzzer, but it was Loyal that prevailed in a hard-fought 60-58 nonconference battle.
The Greyhounds led in the first half for all but a few seconds of play, but in the final three minutes of action, the Abbotsford defense came up big to pull the Falcons back after trailing 26-20.
Mason Carpenter had two blocks sandwiched around a Cade Faber block that prevented Loyal’s lead growing any larger, and Faber’s breakaway dunk put Abby back on top, 27-26 with a minute to go. Abby trailed 31-27 at halftime, and had built some momentum going into halftime.
Loyal’s motion offense was a tough match for Abbotsford to handle as the second half began, and two free throws at the 13:24 mark gave Loyal a 42-32 lead. Looking like Loyal was about ready to put the game away, the first of two big Abbotsford comebacks began.
Faber was the driving force.
Faber’s three buckets in just over a two minute stretch, coupled with stifling defense, brought the Falcons to within three, 42-39. With over ten minutes to go, it looked like the Falcons had the momentum and were about to take the game over themselves.
Both teams hit a speed bump, however, going almost five minutes without scoring before Loyal got its offense going again. The Greyhounds twice built the lead back up to seven points, the final time with 25 seconds left.
The Falcons weren’t done, however, and nearly pulled off the comeback.
Following a Loyal free throw, Faber drove the length of the floor and complete a three point play with twenty seconds left.
After being fouled on the inbounds play, following a timeout, Loyal made another free throw. Loyal’s lead was 60-55, but with 12 seconds on the clock, Abby wasn’t finished.
Brandon Diedrich’s baseline three narrowed the Loyal lead to 60-58 with 4.8 seconds left, and Abbotsford Head Coach Brent Faber immediately called a timeout. Fouled on the next inbounds play, Loyal headed back to the free throw line.
Loyal missed both free throws, and following a timeout, Abby’s final seconds effort by Faber at the buzzer was not successful, giving Loyal the hard-fought win.
Loyal (60) Stieglitz 4, Sandelier 5, Baird 19, Hagen 21, Olson 11
Abbotsford (58) Hunter Soyk 3, Cade Faber 29, Mason Carpenter 12, Brandon Hawkey 1, Brandon Diedrich 9, Adam Diedrich 4
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