Nature Coast Escape Wildcats in OT
By Danny Aiello Jr
Nature Coast found themselves in a battle and a costly foul helped the Sharks down Wesley Chapel 53-50 in overtime.
Advancing to the 5A Regional Semifinals, the Sharks (22-6) found themselves racing out to a 10-3 lead early behind stellar defense.
Finishing with a team total of nine steals, paced by Jamison Carnegie’s five, the Nature Coast defense withstood Wesley Chapel (21-8) runs throughout the first half.
Leading 20-16 at the half, Kaine McColley scored 13 of the Nature Coast 16 points in the third, but Wesley Chapel answered with 12 of their own, led by Theo Williams, who finished the night with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
In the fourth quarter, Williams and Reggie Jennings (14 points 10 rebounds) helped lead the Wesley Chapel charge to get back in the game.
The game picked up in the fourth, when the Wildcats trailed the Sharks 46-44 with just under 30 seconds to play.
After two Wesley Chapel misses, Williams tipped back the rebound with 1.2 seconds left to force overtime.
In the overtime, the teams traded buckets until one untimely play cost Wesley Chapel the game.
With just under a minute left in the game and the game tied at 50, Brendan Boger fouled Carnegie intentionally, forcing free throws.
Carnegie nailed them both giving the Sharks a 52-50 lead.
“Jamison is the type of player who thrives in these types of game.” Sharks coach Dave Pisarcik said. “He’s a gamer, those last free throws didn’t even hit rim.”
Nature Coast will host Zephyrhills in the Regional Semifinal Tuesday at 7 p.m.