You could feel it in the air and see it on the players faces as they warmed up. The Squires have been improving every game, getting closer to closing that game out when their up. Tuesday night was that night as the Squires built a lead in the third quarter and held on to defeat Rochester 52-47.
The first quarter was filled with multiple turn overs by both teams early as they got rid of their jitters. Rochester took off to a 4-0 lead before Logan Brunn connected and then hit a free throw to make it 4-3. The quarter would end with Rochester leading 8-5, with Brunn scoring all five Squire points.
Rochester would start the second quarter scoring the first two buckets to extend their lead to 12-6, when Derek Self canned a three pointer to make it 12-9. Caleb Thomas followed with a bucket and Brunn a free throw to tie it at 12. The two teams would see saw back and forth, trading the lead a couple times before Brunn hit two free throws to give the Squires a 19-18 halftime lead.
To start the third quarter, Rochester would go on an 8-0 run to take a 26-19 lead until Claudel Dickantone stopped the bleeding with a three pointer, followed by another Squire bucket to make it 26-24. Derek Self would then hit a three to give Manchester a 27-26 lead before Rochester hit two free throws to put the Zebras back up 28-27. The run that decided the game happened with 2:00 to go. Logan Brunn hit, followed by a Connor Mclaughlin bucket and a Brunn free throw to make it 32-28. McLaughlin would then drain back to back three’s with under a minute to go to give the Squires a 38-28 lead heading to the fourth.
Rochester would peck away, cutting the lead to 40-34 before the Squires would add space again. Brunn hit two free throws, followed by two Dickantone free throws to open the lead back up to 44-34. Two Brunn free throws made it 48-36 with 1:40 to play and it looked like a sure win. With 1:06 to play, Manchester led 49-38 after a Caleb Thomas free throw when Rochester decided they had one more run. Two free throws made it 49-40. With 39.9 left the Zebras had it cut to 50-43. Rochester fouled and Self missed both free throws, with Rochester hitting with 12.2 left, making it 50-46. On a loose ball the Squires committed a foul and Rochester converted one free throw with 11.0 left and the Squires clinging to a 50-47 lead. With 7.5 remaining the Zebras fouled Self again and Derek redeemed himself, hitting both and securing the 52-47 win.
Leading Manchester was Logan Brunn with 22 points. Derek Self and Connor McLaughlin had 8 each. Caleb Thomas had 6, Claudel Dickantone 5, Neil Underwood 2 and Clayton Petrie 1.