Butler and Firestone lead boys’ basketball to key victory over Crespi

Chronicle Staff

By Judd Liebman

The boys’ basketball team clinched a share of the Mission League championship on Monday with a 60-58 overtime win against Crespi. Guard Jordan Butler ’11 scored a game winning layup with 10 seconds left in the overtime period.

Regulation ended locked up at 51-51 after the Wolverines came back from a 10-point deficit with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.
This lead was cut down primarily after the Wolverines’ shooting heated up, sparked by Butler and guard Nick Firestone ’11. Firestone, who has spent most of the season recovering from a torn ACL, made a three-pointer followed by another from Butler, starting a 13-2 run by the Wolverines.

“Nicky Firestone has a way of firing everyone up, and I think tonight a lot of it was he just never quits, and he’s fearless,” Head Coach Greg Hilliard said. “He threw up maybe an ill-advised three that got nothing but net, and that fired us up.”

Josh Hearlihy ’12 fouled out late in the fourth quarter as the game remained tight. Crespi’s Reggie Coates hit one of two free throws to tie the score with seven seconds left in regulation. 

Neither team took a big lead in overtime, and the game would come down to the final possession.  The Wolverines got the ball back with under a minute to play and ran down the shot clock. Butler had the ball at the top of the key with 11 seconds remaining in overtime.

Because center Zena Edosomwan ’12 fouled out earlier in overtime, Crespi’s post defenders swarmed Damiene Cain ’11. Unable to get the ball inside, Butler drove to the hoop and flipped up a “lucky layup,” he said. A Crespi desperation heave at the buzzer fell short.

The Wolverines now sit atop the Mission League, but could possibly share the league title with Loyola. A win on Wednesday against Alemany would secure the team a lone first place finish in league, which is important for playoff seeding.