Nieport’s shot at the buzzer gives Versailles overtime victory

Image

Versailles 58, Ansonia 56
Versailles’ Clayton Nieport got to play the role of the hero Saturday
night on his home court. The junior guard drained a three with 3.7
seconds left in overtime, giving his team a 58-56 win over Ansonia. It was a dramatic ending to a game that saw momentum swings, comebacks
and two long dramatic threes near the buzzer. It was also a game that
could have easily gone to either team.


VERSAILLES – Versailles’ Clayton Nieport got to play the role of the hero Saturday night on his home court. The junior guard drained a three with 3.7 seconds left in overtime, giving his team a 58-56 win over Ansonia.

It was a dramatic ending to a game that saw momentum swings, comebacks and two long dramatic threes near the buzzer. It was also a game that could have easily gone to either team.

“It was a great game with a lot of big shots from their kids and ours,” said Ansonia coach Chad Cramer after the game.

The other interesting aspect of the game was the one battle between Ansonia’s Eric Beisner and Versailles’ Bryant Ahrens. Beisner led all scorers with 28 points and hit a three at the end of regulation to tie the game. Ahrens tallied 20 points and 10 rebounds in his last game at home.

“It was a tiring game. I had some defensive breakdowns (against Beisner), but my teammates were there to help me out,” said Ahrens.

After a slow start by both squads Ansonia took over. Using the three ball and following the lead of Beisner and Niles Brown, Cramer’s team built a 12-6 lead after one period of play.

But the big spurt came at the start of the second period. Ansonia stormed out on a 10-2 run silencing the home crowd and taking a 22-8 lead midway through the second period.

As the period wore on Versailles settled down and the deficit was slowly chiseled away. Mixing in a zone and man-to-man defense the home team turned up the pressure and made it a game.

After falling behind 26-10, Versailles pulled off a 10-2, closing out the half. Jon Richard and Ahrens did most of the damage finding success inside the paint. When the first half ended the Tigers were within eight at 28-20.

“Our seniors did a good job out there on senior night, but it was when we switched to the normal line up that Ansonia made a run at us,” said Versailles coach Scott McEldowney. “In the early going they were just out playing us.”

That might have been the case in the first half, but in the second half everything change. In the third period Versailles continued where they left off in the second stanza, scoring. Versailles completed the comeback when Ahrens tied the game at 32-32. A few minutes later Kevin Grieshop gave Versailles the lead at 34-32. The period closed with Versailles up 36-32, setting the stage for a thrilling final eight minutes.

Versailles attempted to pull away in the fourth, taking a 41-34 lead, but Ansonia had an answer. After falling behind 43-38 Ansonia hit two big threes, the last coming from Niles Brown, flipping the game to them at 44-43.

But Versailles came right back with a 4-0 run on buckets from Richard and Grieshop, giving Versailles a 47-44 lead with 2:07 left in the game.

Down three Ansonia attempted to break through the Versailles defense, but they were locked up. As the time ticked away Ansonia took a shot and missed. Richard snatched the rebound, but was whistled for a foul.

This gave Ansonia new life and Beisner delivered. From about 25 feet the senior launched a three ball that was all net, tying the game 47-47, with 7 seconds remaining. Versailles nearly won the game in regulation but Adam Kremer swiped away Patrick Meschers’ shot sending the game to overtime.

Like regulation the overtime was back and forth. In the last thirty seconds the lead changed hands three times alone. The last coming when Nieport hit nothing but net with a three, giving Versailles the 58-56 victory.

“I was hoping to get in Clayton’s hand at Parkway last night and tonight when I saw him open I had feeling it was going in because he lives for those moments,” said McEldowney.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *