Jays top Sterling in 2OT, advance to KCAC 2nd round

When Tyler Weinbrenner scored a 3-pointer that tied the game at 42-42 with 8:29 left in the second half, it seemed impossible that either team would top 70 points on Wednesday night.

But Tabor and Sterling played two extra periods-5:00 each-and combined for 40 points in the overtimes. The Bluejays, on the strength of eight consecutive Tyler Weinbrenner makes from the foul line, walked away 79-73 winners.

Tabor advanced to the second round. On Saturday, the men travel to Salina where they will play Kansas Wesleyan at 2 p.m.

Greg Munroe and Mike Willis set the stage for overtime with the final four points of regulation. Sterling center Jonathan Woods had given the Warriors a 56-52 adavantage with a pair of free throws with 1:50 to play.

Then, with 1:35 to play, Munroe took a feed from Willis and scored a 2-pointer that halved the Sterling lead. With 26 seconds to go, Willis went up strong looking for a putback to tie the game, but was fouled.

At the line with a chance to tie the game, Willis’s first free throw bounced twice on the rim before falling. But the second went straight through, knotting the score at 65-all.

The first overtime began with the Bluejays building on the run that ended regulation. Munroe was whistled for his fifth foul only 32 seconds in, but the first 1:20 of the first extra session saw Tabor outscore Sterling 7-1.

Willis scored five points in the burst-a 2-point shot, 15 feet into the right corner and a 3-pointer from right wing.

The Warriors rallied with a 9-0 run capped by a 3-point shot made by Dallas Schnurr with 1:20 to go and a 2-pointer by Woods with 26 seconds left.

Tabor trailed 66-63 and called timeout to set up a play. The Bluejays inbounded the ball successfully, but were unable to get a good look immediately, and head coach Don Brubacher called for time.

With 11 seconds to go, Tabor inbounded the ball to Weinbrenner as Willis set a screen high on the left wing. Andy Brubacher curled behind that screen, took the pass from Weinbrenner and tied the game with a 21-footer.

Sterling was unable to strike back, as the play had consumed all but 0.6 seconds of the remaining clock and the second overtime began with the scored tied at 66.

Willis scored the first points of the final period on a 2-point shot assisted by Brubacher at 4:43. Sterling tied the game 30 seconds later, and the score remained at 68-68 for the next 1:45.

When Brubacher got open and caught a pass in the left corner, Woods moved to prevent him from shooting-but Brubacher recognized the mismatch and blew past the 6-feet-10-inches center on a dribble drive, and drew a foul when Woods attempted to block his layup. Brubacher made one of two free throws for a 71-68 lead.

It was Woods fourth personal, and on Tabor’s next possession, the Bluejays cleared the lane for Weinbrenner. The point guard went straight at Woods and the Sterling starting center fouled out in the resulting collision.

Weinbrenner nailed both foul shots and began a streak of eight in a row that finally sealed the win.

Weinbrenner led all scorers with 24 points, followed by Brubacher (15 points), Munroe (13) and Willis (13).

Four players-two on each team-topped 40:00 of action: Weinbrenner (46:41) and Brubacher (43:10) for Tabor, and Schnurr (47:34, 21 points) and Woods (40:07, 15 points, 10 rebounds) for Sterling.

Tabor advanced to the second round. On Saturday, the men travel to Salina where they will play Kansas Wesleyan at 2 p.m.

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