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  • Barto free throw seals 2-OT win over Colgan

  • Playing in front of a boisterous crowd at St. Mary’s Colgan, Frontenac senior Blake Barto was at the free throw line with 1.8 seconds remaining in second overtime with the score deadlocked at 44.

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  • Playing in front of a boisterous crowd at St. Mary’s Colgan, Frontenac senior Blake Barto was at the free throw line with 1.8 seconds remaining in second overtime with the score deadlocked at 44.
    His first shot bounced off the back of the rim.
    He wouldn’t let the second one also be a miss.
    Not in his senior year, not when he was playing against his team’s foes and with the league title on the line like this and considering the last time the Frontenac Raiders beat the St. Mary’s Colgan Panthers was nine years ago.
    Lucky for him, his second attempt put the game away for good after two overtimes, winning 45-44.
    “What was going through my head was that it was the last time we were playing Colgan,” Barto said. “And the last time we beat them was in 2004 and the league title was on the line and I felt I was one of the captains and seniors and luckily it went in.”
    Just like with the girls’ game, the Raiders made a second half comeback to go in front of the Panthers. And just like the girls’ game, the Raiders escaped with a narrow victory over their rivals from the south.
    But not similar to the girls’ game, this one would take more than four quarters to settle.
    In fact, it took more than one overtime to solve.
    Why, it even looked as if the score was destined to stay tied at 42 after no basket was scored in the first overtime.
    “Just a tremendous win,” said Frontenac head coach Doug Barto. “Two teams going at each other. No quit on either team. This was just a game.”
    After trailing 10-7 at the conclusion of the first, the Raiders spent much of the first half behind the Panthers before going on a 4-0 run to close the gap to three points right before halftime. Austin Commons stretched Colgan’s lead to 25-21 with a pair of free throws.
    The second half became a whole different story.
    A field goal by Blake Barto, which came off a steal, put the Raiders in a two-point lead. Suddenly, the Raiders were on a 6-0 run.
    “We made some layups that we missed,” Coach Barto said. "We're still struggling at the line but we played better defense.”
    The Raiders managed to cut down on turnovers.
    Dylan Clark shot one of two free throws to bring the Raiders up 40-39 in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
    With 39 seconds left and with the Panthers still on top, a double dribble was called on the Panthers and turned the ball back to the Raiders.
    Page 2 of 4 - The Panthers passed the ball around the perimeter to take time off the clock and forcing the Raiders to foul Dyson Dechant. He was sent to line where he made both free throws.
    Now needing a three-pointer to tie the game, the Raiders passed the ball to Avery Coronado where he scored in the waning moments and send the game into overtime.
    The first overtime was over before people even knew it as the Panthers dominated possession for over two minutes.
    Luke Marquardt scored on the inside but the celebration was cut short as he was called for a travel. The Panthers did have another chance to win but Devon Keith blocked Austin Commons’ 3-point attempt, forcing another overtime for an already worn out bench for both sides.
    “I was exhausted,” Blake Barto said. “I had only sat out for like two minutes of the game and we got a little breather when they were passing the ball around (in overtime) and we were all in good shape. We had a chance to regroup.”
    Keith put the Raiders up with an inside shot. Commons responded with a field goal to put the teams on level terms before Blake Barto was sent to the line for the game winning shot.
    Matt Standlee was the leading scorer for the Raiders with 11 points while Commons was the leading scorer for the Panthers with 18.
    Frontenac girls 49, Colgan 46
    For the Frontenac girls, it was a tale of two different games.
    The first half saw a one-sided game dominated by the St. Mary’s Colgan Panthers while the Frontenac Raiders made a reversal of fortune in the second half to escape with a 49-46 victory.
    Trailing 29-11 in the second quarter, the Raiders threw together a comeback to avenge their first loss to the Panthers from December.
    “I just wished we would’ve started the game the same way we did the second half,” said Frontenac head coach Jeremy Rakes. “Credit to them, they came out ready to play and knocked down some big time shots to start the game. We were very happy and very pleased to take place in an event like this.”
    The two teams played in front of an electric crowd, wearing orange as part of a fundraiser for Payton Kannarr, a St. Mary’s student who has been diagnosed with leukemia, in a fundraiser.
    “What an atmosphere, this was the best atmosphere we’ve played in all this year,” Rakes said. “What a great night for a great cause.”
    A defensive charge called against the Raiders resulted in two free throws and gave the Panthers a 13-5 lead in the first.
    Colgan scored a 3-pointer to start off the second quarter and things would not get any easier for the Raiders the rest of the half. Frontenac took shots left and right but could not make them.
    Page 3 of 4 - “We couldn’t get any shots to fall,” Rakes said. “It seemed like we were one and done and made some adjustments at halftime and got into better positions to score.”
    An off the backboard field goal by Jordan Flemming made it 23-11 with 4:24 before halftime, prompting Rakes to take a time out.
    Then, as if both teams switched jerseys at halftime, the Raiders made a complete 180 to start the second half by going on a 9-0 run to close the deficit to one point.
    The Panthers would respond with a 5-0 run to remain in front and led by two at the end of the third quarter.
    A field goal by Bailey Flora closed the gap to one point again with 6:40 left and luck started to turn against the Panthers as a travel and double dribble calls went against Colgan on back-to-back possessions.
    A push foul sent Jennifer Long to the free throw line where she tied the game at 37 before an inside shot moment’s later put the Raiders in front.
    One of the keys for the Raiders was making changes at defense, switching from a man-to-man to a zone.
    “I think the biggest one was hammering the boards,” Rakes said. “Our defensive pressure was off so we switched and we really wanted to make them have to make big time shots.”
    Trailing by three, Halee Pace went inside for a lay up that went through. But her basket did not count after she was called for a charge.
    Mariah Klenke avenged Pace’s foul with a field goal while drawing a foul. Her free throw tied the game at 40 with 3:38 remaining.
    Haley Wilson made an outside shot to give the Raiders a 43-40 advantage while Colgan continued to dig themselves deeper in the hole with Aliee Story missing two free throws.
    With the score at 45-41 and with time running out, Nichole Kolarik got some momentum going for the Panthers by scoring an inside basket off a steal.
    The Panther’s only choice was to foul but the Raiders were a much different shooting team in the second half and that included from the charity strip. A free throw by Flora made the score 46-43 with 54 seconds left. She finished the game with 11 points and had three free throws.
    Consecutive missed 3 pointers by Kolarik and Taylor Bollinger resulted in a rebound by the Raiders and soon enough, resulted with Tabor Spurling making one of two free throws. After another missed outside shot by Kolarik, the Panthers finally scored an outside shot as Kolarik made the fourth attempt in the closing seconds.
    But it was to no avail as the Raiders were too far ahead for the victory.
    Page 4 of 4 - Katie Kolarik was the leading Colgan scorer with 11 points. Haley Wilson was the Raiders’ leading scorer at 15.

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