Elementary tourney starts with many close games
PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney elementary boys' basketball tournament commenced with a number of tight finishes Monday night at PAHS Gym A.
In five games featuring fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, four match-ups finished with two points or fewer separating the two teams.
Michigan State 11, North Carolina 10
Matt Wehrle's game-high eight points led Michigan State to an 11-10 victory over North Carolina in the first fourth- and fifth-grade contest of the night.
Also scoring for Michigan State (1-0) were Logan Geist (two points) and Carter Newcome (one).
Kevin Constant scored a team-best six points to lead UNC (0-1). Alex Gianvito and Brandon McGee each tallied two points.
Washington 11, Michigan 10
Two different teams created the same result as the first game, as Washington bested Michigan in another fourth- and fifth-grade game, 11-10.
Jesse Burkett (five points), Antonio Stello (four) and Chase Lorelli (two) each scored for Washington (1-0).
Matt Blose had a seven-point effort in the loss for Michigan (0-1). Lukas Deet (two points) and Austin Ewing (one) also scored.
Pittsburgh 16, Syracuse 14
Brandon Matthews poured in 14 points, and Pittsburgh edged Syracuse, 16-14, in the final fourth- and fifth-grade game of the night.
Jacob Schiel also had two points for the Panthers (1-0).
Five Orangemen (0-1) scored, led by four points apiece from Ethan Blose and Willie Hoover. Caden Barrick, Zach Pape and Skyler Catarouche each had two points.
Texas Tech 22, Connecticut 20, OT
In the most exciting finish of the night, Texas Tech rallied to defeat Connecticut, 22-20 in overtime during the first of two sixth-grade games.
A three-pointer by Texas Tech's Ethan Riley tied the game at 14 with a minute left, and a buzzer-beating lay-up by teammate Tanner Zimmerman sent the game into overtime.
Devin Kelly scored four of his six points in overtime to lead Texas Tech (1-0) to the triumph.
Riley scored a game-best eight points, Zimmerman had six points, and Josh Godo added two points.
For the Huskies, Lucas Burkett led with seven points, and Jacob Horner registered six points. Both Brady Snyer (four points) and Kevin Hutton (three) also scored.
The tournament resumes today, with Syracuse facing Michigan State at 5:30 p.m. The other two fourth- and fifth-grade games are Pittsburgh versus North Carolina at 6 p.m. and Michigan State against Washington at 6:30 p.m.
In sixth-grade action, Ohio State takes on Texas Tech at 7 p.m., and Connecticut opposes Georgetown at 7:30 p.m.