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Granell Drvies!
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The Leafs Fall to The Fishermen on Late Bucket

Birch Tree, NY -- In a battle for first the Birch Tree boys varsity basketball team lost a close game to St. John Fishermen high school, 67-65 this evening at Birch Tree. The Fishermen’s Sean O'Brien made a running jumper from 10 feet out with 4.6 seconds to play to give St. John the win. The loss drops Birch Tree into second place in the conference.

The first half went back and forth as the lead exchanged hands six different times. Birch Tree enjoyed their biggest lead of the half when Chris Mitchell made one of two free throws after being intentionally fouled, giving Birch Tree a 17-10 lead. St. John answered right back with five straight points, taking a 17-15 lead. The lead exchanged hands several times at the end of the half and Justin Powell’s basket with a minute to play gave Birch Tree a 33-31 lead. James McGee added a layup with 49 seconds to play, giving Birch Tree a 35-31 lead at the break.

The Leafs came out in the second half and scored the first four points, extending their lead to 39-31. The Fishermen answered with a 21-4 run, taking the lead back at 11:42 on a pair of free throws by Jeff Sidney. St. John extended their lead to nine points on a layup by Matt Morley with 7:19 to play. On Birch Tree’s next possession Dave Thomas stopped the run when he nailed a three-pointer on an assist from Josh Bauer.

The Leafs kept battling and with 1:40 to play Chris Mitchell’s three-pointer cut the Fishermen’s lead to two at 63-61. Justin Granell tied the game at 63-63 with his layup with a minute to play. On St. Johns next possession he stole the ball and drove in, making an uncontested layup. Sean O'Brien answered right back for the Fishermen with his jumper with 35 seconds to play, giving St. John the lead back at 65-63. On Birch Tree’s very next possession James McGee tied the score at 65-65. She drove the ball to the net and made a tough layup with 21.7 seconds remaining.

St. John called time out with 15.8 seconds remaining to set up the final play. The play worked as O'Brien drove to his right and floated a shot from 10-feet out that dropped in giving St. John the lead with 4.6 seconds to play. The Leafs inbounded the ball and it wound up in Justin Greanell’s hands. He drove down the length of the court and threw up a three-pointer at the buzzer, but the shot went long, giving St. John Fishermen the win.

James McGee led the Leafs with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Dave Thomas added 13 points and five rebounds, while Justin Granell added 11 points for the Leafs. Birch Tree shot 37.1 percent on the game.

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