Bloch Party: Seabury sophomore hits another game-winner against Veritas
photo by: Chris Duderstadt
One buzzer-beater against Bishop Seabury Academy’s crosstown rival this season evidently wasn’t enough for BSA sophomore Zach Bloch.
The Seabury guard clinched the Seahawks’ 65-63 overtime victory over Veritas Christian on Friday after drilling a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the corner despite three players contesting the shot. Bloch’s previous game-winner against the Eagles gave Seabury a 51-50 win on Jan. 11.
“I had three people on me so I had to double clutch in that situation. I was just lucky to hit it,” Bloch said. “It’s crazy. It’s a great feeling. I know my school wanted it really bad, and to get it for them again was just crazy.”
Bloch and the Seahawks (12-4) got everything they wanted and then some from the Eagles (16-9). Veritas grabbed a 63-62 lead with seven seconds to go in overtime when senior Tucker Flory laid it up and in for two. Flory, who missed the final three minutes of the first matchup against Seabury after exiting with an ankle injury, matched Bloch with 28 points.
“Credit to Zach. He’s a ridiculous shooter,” Flory said. “If you get him into the corner, he’s still going to hit that. He proved that last time. We feel like we played great and we feel like we had that game won. We just have to keep our heads up.”
photo by: Chris Duderstadt
No one’s heart sunk more than Seabury coach Jonathon Raney after Flory’s layup put the Eagles up one. The Seahawks almost had a chance to ice the game a few seconds early after they had come up with a stop with 14.4 seconds to go, but Raney called a timeout when he didn’t have one left. Jackson Rau hit one of the two technical free throws to cut the Seahawks’ lead to 62-61 before Flory put the Eagles in front on the extended possession.
Raney’s frown turned upside down after Bloch’s buzzer-beater, but his players made him plenty proud regardless of the outcome. Bloch and senior Chris Green were quick to come up to Raney after he called the timeout to let them know they had his back, and that meant the world to the Seabury coach.
“As a coach I pride myself on executing on both ends of the floor, but I also pride myself on my relationships with my players. To me, there is nothing more important as a coach than my relationships with my guys,” Raney, who thought he had a timeout carry over from the fourth quarter, said. “Obviously I feel the love back every day. Zach and Chris and I can go right on down the list, just to have their belief in me and my belief in them, it’s a special feeling. I know people say it’s just sports and it’s just basketball, but to us it’s life. These are life lessons and life relationships that I treasure.”
Raney lauded Bloch’s heroics again, but also was pleased with how Stavian Jones came through in crunch time with seven of his 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Veritas was looking for secondary scoring options down the stretch as well after senior Trey Huslig fouled out. Veritas received big buckets late from Reed Wilson (3-pointer in the fourth quarter) and Will Bartkoski (two 3-pointers, one of which gave the Eagles a two-point lead in overtime).
“They’re getting better every practice and every game. Reed is a gamer and this is Will Bartowski’s second game,” Veritas coach Carl Huslig said. “For them to come off of the bench and hit those shots was huge for us.”
Seabury will be back in action with a home tilt on Tuesday against Grandview Christian, while Veritas will have a quick turnaround today against St. Xavier.
Veritas 19 15 11 12 6 — 63
Seabury 23 13 12 9 8 — 65
Trey Huslig 3-13 0-0 7, Reed Wilson 1-2 0-0 3, Jackson Rau 3-6 3-4 11, Will Rau 2-6 0-0 6, Scott Weinhold 1-1 0-2 2, Will Bartkoski 2-3 0-0 6, Tucker Flory 10-17 8-10 28. Totals: 22-48 11-16 63.
Stavian Jones 8-17 0-0 17, Joao Carlos Ramirez 1-6 0-0 2, Zach Bloch 10-23 3-6 28, Chris Green 2-8 3-4 7, Miles Branch 1-2 0-0 2, Luke Hornberger 2-4 2-4 6, Sam Bayliss 1-1 0-0 3. Totals: 23-53 5-10 65.
3-point goals: Veritas 8-21 (Will Bartkoski 2, Will Rau 2, Jackson Rau 2, Trey Huslig 1, Reed Wilson 1); Seabury 1-10 (Stavian Jones 1). Turnovers: Veritas 13, Seabury 6. Fouled out: Trey Huslig, Veritas.