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Middletown beats Overbrook in state playoffs, gets No. 1 team in state as a reward

Posted 3/14/18

For the second year in a row, the Middletown Blue Raiders used some last-second magic to pull out an exciting victory at Lancaster County’s Garden Spot High School.

In last season’s …

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Middletown beats Overbrook in state playoffs, gets No. 1 team in state as a reward

Posted

For the second year in a row, the Middletown Blue Raiders used some last-second magic to pull out an exciting victory at Lancaster County’s Garden Spot High School.

In last season’s District III semifinal game, Ryan Hughes hit a fallaway jumper to beat the buzzer that lifted the team over Berks Catholic. On Tuesday night at the same venue, Hughes converted a steal into the winning points with just 6 seconds left as the Raiders (19-7) turned back Overbrook High School, 47-45, in the second round of state playoffs.

WATCH THE HUGHES STEAL HERE

Hughes scored a game-high 16 points while Tre’ Leach collected 14 and Chris Plummer added 10 for the Blue Raiders.

The exciting victory moved the Middletown squad into the state quarterfinals, with only eight teams remaining. They will play Imhotep Charter School (28-2), the No. 1 rated team in Class 4A in Pennsylvania, who beat Scranton Prep, 44-32. They will play at 6 p.m. Friday at the Geigle Complex in Reading. The winner will play the winner of Berks Catholic and Bethlehem Catholic with a spot in the state title game on the line. Those two teams play at 6 p.m. Friday at Martz Hall, Pottsville.

Overbrook, the No. 3 seed out of District 12, came into the game on Tuesday with a 17-8 record from the Philadelphia Public League. Middletown was 18-7 and was also a third seed. With nearly identical records, this game had all the potential of being a good matchup, and that’s what it turned out to be.

After falling behind by a surprising 8-0 deficit against the Blue Raiders to start the game, the Panthers came back. After trailing 35-25 late in the third quarter Overbrook again rallied in the fourth, tying the score with 2:21 left in the game and then taking a one-point lead with 48 seconds on the clock. Tyler Petroski made one of two foul shots three seconds later to knot the score at 45 and set the stage for the exciting finish.

With Overbrook in possession and working the clock for a winning basket, the Middletown defense held its ground. With 10 seconds showing, Hughes made the defensive play of the game. He picked off a pass attempt from Khalif Washington to Naim Walker and drove to the basket, laying in the two point goal with 6 ticks left.

Fouled on the play, Hughes missed the free throw, but leapt into the air, grabbing the rebound and tossing the ball to Leach before the Panthers could gain possession. Leach, too, missed a chance at icing the game at the foul line. Overbrook had just two seconds left and a long, long shot missed, giving the win to the Blue Raiders.

Along with Leach and Hughes, the defensive work of Plummer, Kyle Truesdale and Brady Fox, as well as David Alcock and Petroski off the bench, was a key to the win.

Limited mainly to outside shots through the first three periods, the Panthers struggled for points. They made just 1 of many attempts from beyond the 3-point arc.

Washington, Ray West and Cyrie Coates teamed for 37 points for Overbrook.