VERSAILLES — Versailles held off a late-game surge from National Trail to earn a 63-60 overtime win in a nonconference boys basketball game on Monday.
The teams came into the night with identical unblemished 8-0 season marks.
The teams would see the score tied 49-49 in the fourth quarter but the Blazers went back on top 51-49 at the 1:18 mark. Versailles knotted the score at 51-51 to close out regulation play sending the game to an overtime period.
“The second half we got a little stagnant and we forced a lot of shots,” Versailles coach Travis Swank noted. “We could have finished a little better at times underneath, just didn’t. Maybe that was Trail’s length and athleticism so credit to them. They never gave up and made a really nice ballgame. That was a fun atmosphere to be in, the crowd was in it. It was a good game for both teams.”
Versailles took advantage of a Conner VanSkyock old fashioned 3-point play to give the Tigers a 54-51 overtime lead, a lead they would keep. Trail’s Cameron Harrison hit a 3-point buzzer beater to make it a 3-point win for Versailles.
“In overtime we got a little mojo going, moved the ball a lot better and he got wide open looks,” Swank said of VanSkyock. “He is a knock-down shooter. We want him to hit those for us. He got a lot of good looks off our motion and our ball movement. Those are the ones we want to take.”
VanSkyock paced the Tigers overtime, scoring eight of the team’s 12 points including a triple, a 2-point basket and 3-of-3 shooting at the charity stripe.
Trail’s Cameron Harrison led all scorers with a game high 31-points including seven 3-pointers. The 6-0 junior scored his 1,000th career point for the Blazers in the game.
Michael Stammen led Versailles with 18 points while VanSkyock scored 15 and Dakoda Naftzger scored 14.
Despite the undefeated start, Swank said the team has a lot to improve on.
“We’re an unfinished product right now,” Swank said. “We have had a lot of guys step up and do a lot of nice things but we’re not there where we need to be right now. I’m happy for our guys to get a ‘W’ but I still want to go back to work tomorrow and clean up some things.”
Versailles used eight Stammen first quarter points including 4-of-4 at the line to take a 15-8 lead after one period of play.
The Tigers pushed their lead to 22-10 at 5:46 in the second and closed out first half play with a 31-19 advantage with Stammen accounting for 16 first half points.
“He played really well the first half,” Swank said of Stammen. “The second half we got a little stagnant and we forced a lot of shots.”
The third period had Versailles extending its lead to 14 points with a 37-23 score at 4:18 before the visitors closed out the quarter on a 14-5 run cutting the Tigers’ lead to 42-37 heading to the final period.
“We had a little laps there,” said Swank. “We have had these in games where we control and then we allow teams like Russia and now National Trail to make a run at us, but we persevered here again tonight. We can’t let that keep on happening because it’s eventually going to come back and bite us.”
National Trail took the final period 14-9 with the lead changing hands several times with Versailles coming back from a two-point 51-49 deficit to send the game to an overtime period.
Trail would take its first lead in the fourth period at 44-43 with 6:40 showing before Versailles grabbed the lead back at 46-44 with 5:47 on the board.
Versailles will host New Bremen in a Midwest Athletic Conference game on Friday.
Reach Blosser at email@example.com or 937-548-3330.