The Gananda Blue Panthers were able to hold off Mynderse, 60-56, in front of a packed home crowd at Friday night’s Class C1 Quarterfinal matchup.
“Mynderse is one of the best teams in our class (C1), they have a lot of talent…so this is a good win.” Gananda head coach Jeff Thomson said. “It was a physical game, but we stuck to our game plan.”
After leading for most of the first half, Mynderse allowed back-to-back 3-pointers from Gananda’s Jake Majer and Eric Mucci. Donnelly’s 3-pointer at the buzzer, tied the game at 27 going into the half.
“Jake and Eric’s back-to–back 3-pointers gave us confidence and momentum going into the second half. We shot horribly in the beginning of the game; we could have easily been down 10 or 15 points” said Thomson.
Mynderse scored the first four points of the second half to take the lead to 31-27, but multiple turnovers, gave Gananda the advantage minutes later.
Gananda led by seven points with five minutes remaining in the game, but Mynderse fought back and took the lead on a layup by Liam Caraher with 1:26 to play.
A late 3-pointer by Gananda’s Quinn Donnelly put the Panthers up by four points. After a turnover and a couple missed free throws by Gananda, Mynderse had an opportunity to tie the game in the final seconds. Their 3-point attempt missed, and Donnelly was fouled with only a few seconds left on the clock. He made one of two free throws to seal the win for Gananda.
Donnelly scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter. Eric Mucci finished with 17 points and Luis Lopez added 13 points for Gananda (12-8), which will play No. 1 Bloomfield in the semifinals on Monday, February 24. Luke Ruddy had 25 points and Jason Anderson added 19 points for Mynderse (8-11).