Home / Round one of Battle of the Bubble goes to McIntosh
Round one of Battle of the Bubble goes to McIntosh
Fans of the McIntosh or Starr’s Mill basketball teams know that their games against each other are often among the best of the year. Saturday night’s matchups between the varsity teams from both schools at Starr’s Mill’s Panther Pit are destined to go down as instant classics.
The girls tangled first and Starr’s Mill took an early lead. McIntosh’s Gabby Seiler hit one of her three three-pointers to end the quarter, cutting the Lady Panther lead to 10-9. Starr’s Mill increased the lead to 20-17 at the half as they made the most of some shots near the basket while McIntosh still struggled with their shooting. The Lady Panthers got a big bucket from Katie Wilson to end the third quarter, pushing the lead to four points. They got the margin up to eight points with five minutes to go but McIntosh did not give up.
The Lady Chiefs (15-1) chipped away and a defensive adjustment took away some of the inside shots that Starr’s Mill (11-4) had been thriving on earlier. With just over a minute remaining in the game, Seiler hit another three-pointer to give McIntosh the lead. McIntosh won 37-33 and head coach David Dowse was proud of his team’s performance.
“They are tough as nails, physically and mentally. Their will to win - I haven’t seen anything like it in all my years of coaching,” Dowse said. He also praised Starr’s Mill. “They are a great team and (head coach) Shane (Ratliff) has done a fantastic job with them.”
Seiler finished with 23 points, six rebounds and four assists for McIntosh with Cassidy Williams chipping in seven points and five rebounds and Abby Birrell pulling in 10 rebounds.
Wilson and Danielle Garcia led Starr’s Mill with 12 points a piece, while Lexie Pappas led the team in rebounds with 12.
The boys game had a lot to live up to and it did, and then some. The Panthers (11-8) lead 19-16 after one quarter and David Watson scored 18 of his 28 points in the first half. The Chiefs hung in there though and Jordan Lyons hit a three-pointer at the buzzer of the half to tie the game at 28 points a piece. McIntosh (12-5) built a 43-38 lead at the half but Starr’s Mill went on a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter and had a 58-53 lead with under a minute remaining. McIntosh’s Will Washington hit a three pointer to cut the lead to two and Robby Duff’s lay-up tied the game to force overtime.
The battle was back and forth in the extra period and the two teams were knotted at 67-67 when Lyons was fouled with .6 seconds left on the clock. He hit the first free throw and purposely missed the second one and McIntosh won 68-67.
“There’s one thing I know about my team and that is there is no give up with them,” said McIntosh head coach Jason Eisele. “We’ve won in almost every kind of way this year.” Eisele heaped praise on the play of Lyons and Washington, freshmen who “haven’t really played like freshmen all year.”
Lyons finished with 22 points, while Washington added 15 and Joey Bolen added 12. Starr’s Mill’s Watson was the leading scorer in the game and the Panthers’ Jeremiah Vrudny added 17 points.
Clear your schedule for Tuesday, Feb. 5. Set your DVR for whatever is on television that night because that is the rematch and the final game of the regular season for these two teams. If the games are anything like what went down Saturday night at Starr’s Mill, it will be well worth the price of admission.