EATON TWP. — The game wasn’t pretty, but for Midview the ending was storybook.
With five seconds left, senior guard Gage Carnes took a nice feed crosscourt and buried a 3-pointer from the top of the arc at the buzzer to give the Middies a 36-33 win over Amherst in Southwestern Conference action Friday night.
“I didn’t think I was going to get the last shot but my teammates did a good job of getting me open and I hit it,” said Carnes, who finished with a game-high 18 points.
Points were at a premium for both teams. The two combined to score 25 points in the first quarter, then matched that total over the course of the next two. During that span, the Comets committed 18 turnovers to Midview’s nine.
While the Comets didn’t get their first field goal of the second quarter until the 1:30 mark, they still outscored the Middies by two. Midview scored 1:55 into the quarter and then was held to just three free throws the rest of the way.
“I don’t know if it was good defense or really, really bad offense,” Midview coach Jim Brabenec said. “I think we both successfully took basketball back to about 1940 tonight. It’s good to come out on the winning end, but we have got to get better. Shots weren’t falling early, Amherst was playing really good defense and we were just out of sync. We could never get in a rhythm.”
Carnes did provide a spark to open the fourth quarter for the Middies (4-1, 2-1). Teammate Vince Birth lofted up a perfect feed for an alley-oop dunk, which Carnes finished with authority and got the crowed riled up.
The bonus was that the dunk broke a 25-25 tie, but it wasn’t enough for Midview’s offense to break through as the Middies proceeded to turn the ball over on their next three possessions. Amherst (0-4, 0-3), however, couldn’t capitalize — though it did manage to tie the game thanks to a layup by Troy Toth, who was the only other player in double figures at 11.
Toth was a big reason why the Comets took the lead in the first quarter, connecting on two of his three 3-pointers.
“My teammates we’re getting me open and I can hit those open shots,” Toth said. “Obviously, we’re not satisfied with the loss, but we grinded it out much better than losing by 40 the last couple of games.”
Carnes and Birth both found their 3-point game at the right time — the pair had combined to go 0-for-10 until Carnes hit his first with 5:20 left. Birth followed it up with another three to push the Midview lead back out to four, but Amherst’s Gehrig Gabrie brought it to 33-32 with a three of his own on the next possession.
Four straight possessions resulted in no field goals — two Amherst turnovers and two missed shots by Midview. The Comets decided to milk the clock, running 1:45 off and taking two timeouts, the second coming with 15 seconds left.
Toth missed a good look from three, but Alec Dimacchia was fouled going up for the rebound and split the pair, setting up Carnes’ heroics.
“At the end of the game there, Troy Toth had a really good look. It just came up a little short,” Amherst coach Pat Bray said. “It was hard there at the end not being able to foul (Carnes) because we didn’t want to put him on the line at the end of the game. So we made him hit a big shot and he hit a big shot.”
Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or email@example.com and follow him @CSweeneyCT on Twitter.
Midview 36, Amherst 33
AMHERST (33): Gehrig Gabrie 2-0-6, Ryan Hritsko 2-0-4, Alec Dimacchia 2-1-6, Troy Toth 4-0-11, Kyle Ferguson 0-0-0, Matt Fairchild 2-0-4, Greg Rhodes 1-0-4. Totals 13-1-33.
MIDVIEW (36): Gage Carnes 6-4-18, Vince Birth 1-0-3, Jonny Manning 2-1-5, Aidan Breggins 2-0-5, Seamus Higley 0-0-0, Isiah Johnson 0-2-2, Trevor Porter 0-0-0, Dane Reichard 1-0-3, Brandon Gichrist 0-0-0, Braeden Haywood 0-0-0. Totals 12-7-36.
Amherst 13 7 5 8 — 33
Midview 12 5 8 11 — 36
Three-point goals: Amherst 6-12 (Toth 3, Gabrie 2, Dimacchia), Midview 5-23 (Carnes 2, Birth, Breggins, Reichard). Field goals: Amherst 13-30 (43 percent), Midview 12-37 (32 percent). Free throws: Amherst 1-3 (33 percent), Midview 7-11 (64 percent). Rebounds: Amherst 20 (Ferguson 6), Midview 18 (Carnes 7). Total fouls: Amherst 14, Midview 15. Turnovers: Amherst 25, Midview 18.
Junior varsity: Midview, 59-50