B.J. Rogers’ three-point play with 29.9 seconds remaining in overtime gave visiting McClintock a 53-50 victory over Saguaro in a 4A Desert Sky Region boys basketball game Tuesday night.
McClintock (15-4, 2-0) expected a tough game from Saguaro (10-8, 0-2), but when the top-ranked Chargers found themselves trailing 41-32 after the Sabercats’ Matt Rhodes hit a jumper and foul shot for a three-point play with 7:11 remaining, they knew they had to pick up their intensity.
The Chargers stepped up, outscoring the Sabercats 13-4 over the final seven minutes and knotting the score at 45 at the end of regulation.
Rogers led McClintock in the overtime, scoring four of his seven points in the period.
"I knew they were going to be a good team," Rogers said. "I expected that we were going to have to go out there and fight. We got our minds focused on ball control and ball handling. We played our hearts out."
The Chargers started slow, committing six turnovers in the first quarter and making just two of seven field goals. At halftime, McClintock had committed nine turnovers and made just 6 of 18 shots.
However, McClintock leading scorer Dahir Nasser (17.0 points per game) kept things close, hitting 3 of 3 from 3-point range and had 11 of his team-high 15 points in the first half as the Chargers overcame an early seven-point deficit and trailed 25-22 at the half.
"We have a bunch of kids sick right now. We brought nine players to the game," McClintock coach Brian Fleming said. "We haven’t played in 12 days. A lot of that has to factor in, but Saguaro was up for this. It doesn’t surprise me that we struggled early because they really brought a good intensity."
Chad Morin had a gamehigh 18 points for Saguaro, scoring 10 in the second half and two in overtime. He made 5 of 10 from the field, including 4 of 7 3-pointers.
"(He) was just lights out. I didn’t even know who he was," Fleming said.
Morin went to work after guard Nick Witherill left the game with an injury to his right leg with 6:31 left in the second quarter.