Poth Pirates win ‘heart-stopping’ district playoff with Karnes City
Poth Pirate Head Basketball Coach Fred Radske congratulates his players after a close 48-46 win over Karnes City Feb. 18.
FLORESVILLE -- The battle between the Poth Pirates and Karnes City Badgers couldn’t be settled in the regular season, so the teams squared off one more time in Floresville Feb. 18, with the winner taking the district’s top spot, and the all-important first-round bye in the playoffs. The game literally came down to the final seconds of the fourth period, but in the end, it was Poth picking up a 48-46 win.
Denver McKinney started the Pirates off in the first period with the first basket of the game. Karnes City dropped in a free throw, but after a basket from Josh Jaskinia and a 3-pointer from McKinney, things were looking good for the Pirates as they led 7-1. Tommy Waclawczyk and Billy Korzekwa each scored during the first period as well, but Karnes City not only narrowed the gap, but hit a 3-pointer with about a minute to play, and took an 11-10 lead over Poth into the second period.
The Pirates came out hot in the second period of play and rattled off 11 straight points to lead 21-11. The Badgers then began another comeback, and closed to within 5 points before Poth called a timeout. When the first half came to an end, it was Poth with a small lead at 25-21.
Jesse Dugi, Waclawczyk, Korzekwa, and Oscar Ramon each scored points in the first part of the third quarter to lift Poth to a 33-26 lead. The game then began to rain 3-pointers.
Karnes City started with a 3 to make it a 33-29 game, and Caloss responded for Poth with a 3-pointer of his own. Waclawczyk then drained a 3-pointer to make it 39-29, but the Badgers responded with a 3 to make it 39-32. Ramon broke the streak of four-straight 3-pointers as he dropped one in off the rebound, and Caloss sank a free throw to make it a 42-32 game. The Badgers weren’t done, though, and sank their third 3-pointer of the period to make it a 42-35 game at the end of the third period.
It came as no surprise to the electrified Karnes City crowd when the Badgers started the final period with another 3-point basket. With another basket off the glass, the Badgers found themselves right back in the game at 42-40. Korzekwa scored a basket to give the Pirates a little cushion, but the Badgers scored a pair of baskets to tie the game at 44-all with less than four minutes remaining on the clock.
McKinney and Dugi scored to give the Pirates 48 points, and the game appeared all but over as Poth took possession with just four seconds remaining on the clock. The unthinkable happened, though, as Karnes City stole the inbound pass and scored a quick basket.
With the score now 48-46 in favor of Poth, the Karnes City crowd erupted, but the Poth fans came alive and gave their support to Pirates. The pass in was made, and Karnes City quickly committed the foul to stop the clock. Poth missed the one-and-one, and the Badgers pulled down the rebound and quickly called for a timeout.
With less than three ticks remaining on the clock, it was time for both teams to talk strategy. After the players returned to the court, Pirate Head Coach Fred Radske saw something he didn’t like, and called for another timeout just before the Badgers could inbound the ball.
As each team returned to the floor for what was certain to be the final play of the game, the atmosphere inside the Floresville gym was nothing short of electrifying.
Within seconds, the ball was hurled through the air, and covered nearly half the length of the floor. But instead of giving the final shot to Karnes City, the pass was picked off by Poth, and quickly cleared out to the perimeter. The clock expired, and the Pirates celebrated their narrow 48-46 win.
By virtue of winning the tiebreaker, the Pirates will enjoy a first-round bye in the playoffs, before resuming competition in the second round.