Bulldogs stun Seeley-Swan with buzzer-beater in OT
ST. IGNATIUS — If the Mission Bulldogs were looking for a signature win this season, they can end the search.
Challenged by his coach before the game to shoot the ball more, Mission senior Jorren Gies responded by scoring 24 points against Seeley-Swan Saturday night, including the game-winning basket in overtime. After the Blackhawks took a 59-58 lead with eight seconds left in overtime, Gies took the ball coast-to-coast and scored with a layup at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 60-59 victory and bring a four-game slide to a screeching halt.
After only scoring four points in an embarrassing 53-33 conference loss in Troy Friday – a loss where Mission coach Lloyd Phillips said they played their worst game of the season – Phillips said he challenged Gies, and challenged him hard, before the game to step up and carry the team.
“He stepped up. He stepped up big time,” Phillips said of Gies, who also had eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Phillips said that against Troy, he felt Gies was passing too much, but he knew that wasn’t going to be a problem, when he got the ball with eight ticks left.
“I knew he wasn’t passing the ball. One way or another he was going to get points on the board,” Phillips said.
In only his second game starting at point guard, Dylan Evans, a freshman, finished with 13 points and five rebounds and was a real floor leader on the court, according to Phillips. Evans only had two turnovers in the game and the Bulldogs only committed 12 turnovers in the game – six in each half. They committed 27 turnovers in the 20-point loss to the Trojans, including 17 in the first half.
It looked like Evans was going to be the hero, when he made a free throw with 12 seconds left in regulation to put the Bulldogs up 53-50, but Blackhawk Robert Baier banked in a 3-pointer to tie the game and send it into overtime. Baier finished with 24 points, which included 12 first-quarter points on 4-for-4 shooting from behind the 3-point arc to give Seeley-Swan an 18-17 lead heading into second quarter.
Evans’ free throw to put the Bulldogs up in the fourth, was the only foul shot the Bulldogs made in the final frame. The Bulldogs went 1-for-7 at the line in the final frame, with all six misses coming on the front end of one-and-ones. The Bulldogs were 5-for-18 (27 percent) at the line for the game.
The Bulldogs went into halftime trailing 28-21 and on a six-minute scoring drought, but responded by scoring 27 points in the third quarter – their highest point total in a quarter this season – to take a 48-44 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs shot 57 percent from 2-point range, connecting on 20 of 37 shots, but only shot 26 percent behind the arc, going 5-for-19 on 3-point attempts.
Gui Silva, the Bulldogs’ senior guard, finished with nine points and sophomore guard Austin Durglo added five points.
The nonconference win pushed the Bulldogs to 5-10, but Phillips said more importantly it served notice that the Bulldogs were for real.
“I think you’re not any good until you beat somebody that is better than you, and I think we did that Saturday night,” Phillips said.
Jake Durglo was about the only bright spot for the Bulldogs in Troy Friday. The senior finished with 17 points and hauled in seven boards. No other Bulldog scored more than four points.
After playing Arlee Tuesday, the Bulldogs host Plains Friday for Senior Night and travel to Thompson Falls Saturday to wrap up the regular season.
Troy 53, Mission 33
Mission 8 7 13 5–33
Troy 15 13 12 13–53