Last-second 3-pointer lifts Freeport over Burrell

Friday, January 28, 2022 | 9:47 PM

Vinnie Clark had a senior night to remember forever.

With the score tied and 2 seconds remaining, Clark took an inbound pass from Ben Lane and drained a 3-pointer in the corner to lift Freeport to a 56-53 home victory over Burrell on Friday night.

“I joked with Ben, because he’s my quarterback and I was the wide receiver in football, and he threw me a perfect pass,” Clark said. “I was expecting (my defender) to be right in front of me, but he flew past me. Then I turned around and shot it. I didn’t take my time. I just shot it. It still doesn’t feel real right now.”

Clark finished with a team-high 16 points and capped a game that was tight throughout. Prior to Clark’s winner, Brandon Coury hit a layup that tied the score 53-53 with a little over 20 seconds remaining.

The Bucs battled back from seven points down in the second half to tie the score but ultimately came up short of sweeping the season series after winning the first meeting 53-48 on Jan. 4.

“We knew coming in that they had gotten so much better than the first time we played them,” Burrell coach Mike Fantuzzo said. “We knew we’d be in for a dog fight. We got down a little bit in the second half, and the guys fought back. I was proud of the way they fought until the end, but unfortunately they hit one more shot than we did.”

It was the second big win of the week for Freeport against an Alle-Kiski Valley rival after knocking off Deer Lakes on Tuesday. The Yellowjackets (10-6, 5-3) are 7-2 in their last nine games.

“We put an emphasis on this week,” Freeport coach Sean DeVinney said. “We felt we dropped two winnable games the first time against Deer Lakes and Burrell. We labeled it our revenge tour, and that ended up working out for us.”

Jason Kijowski had 12 points and sank a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter for Freeport, and Cole Charlton scored eight.

Coury led Burrell (10-7, 6-3) with 20, and Travis Bitar netted nine.

Following the buzzer-beater, Clark was greeted at center court by his teammates and the entire student section.

Clark took in the moment, and getting revenge on a major rival made it all the more sweeter.

“We watched the film of the first Burrell game and were disgusted with ourselves because we made so many mistakes,” Clark said. “We were itching to get back at them. To win a big game like this against Burrell on senior night is an incredible feeling.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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