Zaon Collins didn’t get a chance to end the game in regulation on Thursday night. So he made sure to take care of things in the second overtime.
Collins had 10 of his 18 points in the second overtime, leading top-ranked Bishop Gorman to a 74-68 road win over second-ranked Clark.
“Zaon is OK scoring zero, two, four points, or when he needs to he takes over a game and he had 18 tonight,” Gorman coach Grant Rice said. “He picks his spots, but he’s the ultimate point guard. He does what he needs to do to win games.”
Collins was fouled with 4.3 seconds to go in regulation with the game tied at 52. But his left cheekbone immediately swelled, and referees wouldn’t let him take the free throws even after Rice called timeout.
Freshman Max Allen replaced him and missed both shots as the game went to overtime.
“Really bad, like really bad,” Collins said when asked how badly he wanted to be on the line in that situation. “I knew I was going to make them. I had the confidence.”
Collins was one of the few Gorman players who was effective from the free-throw line, making 8 of 9 shots. The Gaels (21-4, 11-0 Southwest League) made 22 of 40 free throws (55 percent), including 0-for-6 in the fourth quarter.
“It’s frustrating, but as a coach you just kind of have to laugh about it,” Rice said. “When good shooters miss free throws, there’s not much you can do.”
Gorman had a chance to win at the end of the first overtime when Noah Taitz grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled with 1.3 seconds left and the game tied at 60. But he missed both free throws, and the game went to a second overtime. Taitz, who had 17 points, missed all seven of his free throws.
Chance Michels added 16 points for the Gaels, who clinched the Southwest League title.
Jalen Hill had 27 points and 11 rebounds and Frankie Collins added 15 points and five assists for the Chargers (21-4, 10-2).
“I just love close games, the score going back and forth,” Zaon Collins said. “I love when the environment is loud, a lot of fans in the gym, everyone is cheering. I just love it.”