Agahuda Khanii Photo
Senior Matt Cardona made his last regular-season home game a memorable one, scoring 27 points and hitting a game-tying three-point shot at the buzzer.
Story by Jon Dinan
LAKE HUNTINGTON February 15, 2013 With the final seconds of Wednesday night’s Sullivan West/O’Neill boys’ basketball game ticking away, Sullivan West senior guard Matt Cardona hit a game-tying three-point shot to send the game into overtime.
“It was a big shot that gave us new life, said Sullivan West head coach Bruce Nober.
Following Cardona’s fourth quarter heroics, the Bulldogs headed into overtime revamped and recharged.
“I told them that this was going to be our last four minutes at home this season, so they have to give it all they’ve,” Nober said about Senior Night.
Unfortunately, Cardona’s big shot and Nober’s inspirational talk weren’t enough to propel the Bulldogs past their division rivals. Instead, O’Neill came out smoking in the overtime period, scoring 18 points during the extra five minutes and cruised to its third win over Sullivan West this season.
“They made their shots in overtime and we didn’t,” Nober remarked.
With the 80-67 victory, O’Neill capped a perfect 5-0 league season.
“They are the best team in the division. They’re the total package,” Nober said. “They have a ton of seniors, good outside shooting, and strength down low.
“I thought we played well. We played good defense, forcing them to take contested jump shots, we got back well in transition, and our seniors like Sawyer Erlwein and Matt really stepped up.”
There’s a chance the two teams could hook up for a fourth time in sectional play should they both win first-round games.