Mallards Fall to Herons, 43-40

BERLIN- Worcester Prep’s boys’ varsity basketball team lost a tough one to visiting Gunston, 43-30, on Monday when a potential game-tying three-point shot swished through the net just after the final buzzer.

The Mallards trailed 13-10 in second quarter before a three-pointer by Zander Farr tied the game at 13-13 and Andrew Ternahan made it 15-13 second later with a fast-break lay-up. Gunston retook the lead with a three-point play including a lay-up and a converted free throw. However, Worcester’s Mateo Patrera put the Mallards back on top, 18-18, with a three-point shot with 30 seconds remaining in the first half. Gunston scored as time expired to tie the game at 18 at the intermission.

In the third quarter, Patrera staked Worcester to a 21-18 lead with a three-pointer at the 5:48 mark, but that was the last basket for the Mallards for a long time. Gunston then went on a 10-0 run including several fast break lay-ups to take a 28-21 lead. Andrew Ternahan broke the ice for Worcester with a lay-up with 25 seconds left in the third to cut the lead to 28-23 and made it 28-24 after converting the ensuing free throw.

In the fourth, Farr missed a jumper but followed his own shot to cut the lead to 28-26 with 6:56 remaining. Seconds later, Farr converted a pair of free throws to tie the game at 28-28. Gunston then went on a mini 6-0 run to take a 34-28 lead with just over five minutes left in the game. A pair of Gunston free throws at the 4:20 mark increased the Herons’ lead to 36-29.

Farr completed a three-point play with just over two minutes remaining to cut the Gunston lead to 36-32. After a Gunston free throw, Worcester’s Matt Reilly scored on a put-back with 1:50 remaining in the game to cut the Gunston lead to 37-34 and an Alex Ternahan free throw with 1:13 left pulled Worcester to within two points at 37-35.

Poor foul shooting plagued both teams down the stretch as neither could take advantage of opportunities from the free throw line. However, Gunston nailed a pair to extend its lead to 42-37 with just under a minute remaining. With 13 seconds left, Worcester’s Ryan McGuire made the front end of a one-and-one, but missed the second. However, he gathered his own rebound and was fouled again. This time, McGuire nailed both to cut the Gunston lead to 42-40 with eight seconds left.

After a Gunston free throw, Worcester brought the ball up with just seconds remaining in the game. After a couple of frantic passes around the perimeter, Farr launched a long jumper from well beyond the three-point arc. The shot fell through the basket hitting nothing but net, but the buzzer sounded just before it left his hand and the game ended with Gunston winning 43-40.