Lowe’s buzzer-beater lifts Monessen over Burrell

Saturday, December 15, 2018 | 7:21 PM

Taylon Lowe spent fewer than two seconds on the court Saturday as Monessen faced Burrell at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Showcase.

But the Greyhounds junior guard made the most of it.

Monessen inbounded after a timeout with 1.7 seconds left and the score tied, and Lowe found the ball in his hands. With a defender on him, Lowe turned and unleashed a shot at the buzzer. The ball banked home to give the Greyhounds a dramatic 52-49 victory.

“The ball was supposed to go to one of our guys inside, but I ended up getting it,” Lowe said. “I was one of the options, and I knew I had to make a play. I just threw it up, and it went in. It felt amazing, one of the best moments of my life.”

Lowe was mobbed by his teammates as the smile on his face grew bigger. The Greyhounds had surrendered a 49-42 lead when Burrell tied the score on a layup from senior forward Andrew Biglar with 1:46 left.

But Monessen forced a turnover with 48 seconds left that led to the final shot.

“We know Taylon is one of our better shooters, and we wanted to get him in the game,” Monessen coach Dan Bosnic said. “Dishon Howell did a great job of identifying an area where he could get Taylon the ball. Taylon did a nice job of squaring himself and getting the shot off.”

As the Greyhounds played for the final shot, Burrell had fouls to give. The Bucs were whistled for only two fouls going into the final sequence.

Logan Phillips fouled with 7 and 5 seconds left, and Logan Bitar fouled with 1.7 seconds showing.

“We said that if it was a throw outside to not foul them,” Burrell coach Shawn Bennis said of the final play. “It was a banked shot from NBA range. We didn’t want to give up a layup or foul them shooting closer to the basket. It wasn’t like the shot went unchallenged. Someone was there in (Lowe’s) face.”

The win was Monessen’s first after losses to Greensburg Central Catholic, Norwin and Westinghouse to start the season.

“We battled, and we fought, and we did a lot of the things today we want to emphasize with the kids,” Bosnic said. “We were able to get through lanes and get layups. We were able to pressure the basketball and cause turnovers. For the most part, we were patient on offense. It’s rewarding to have the guys see they can do the things it takes to be successful.”

Burrell (1-5) had a quick turnaround after a loss to Shady Side Academy on Friday evening in its Section 3-3A opener.

“You could tell they were getting a little worn down as the game went on,” Bennis said. “I tried to use timeouts as best as possible. We’re sort of breaking our quarters down to four minutes and asking them to battle and win those four minutes and then trying to use some of those timeouts until we can develop more of a bench. In the fourth quarter, some of the errors, the turnovers, not boxing out, maybe giving them a second-chance shot. When you’re tired, the mind is the first thing to go.”

Burrell committed 22 turnovers, and four early turnovers in the fourth quarter were costly as Monessen went on a 12-3 run.

But the Bucs rallied on a layup and two free throws by Seth Fischbach, a 3-pointer from Phillips and the layup from Biglar.

Bitar led Burrell with 19 points, and Fischbach scored seven of his 12 in the fourth quarter. Phillips contributed 10 for the Bucs.

Monessen’s Devin Whitlock scored 11 of his team-high 17 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, in the first quarter. Dishon Howell and DaWayne Howell each added 11.

“I thought our effort was sustained throughout,” Bennis said. “It was a team effort in us coming back at the end. That’s how we have to be all the time.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MLove_Trib.

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