Wyoming East has been doing its best Houdini impression.
Like the legendary magician, the Warriors find ways to escape from seemingly impossible predicaments.
Friday’s win over PikeView was the most dramatic yet.
East outscored the Panthers, 15-5, in the final minute of regulation and went on to beat the Panthers in overtime, 69-56, at New Richmond.
It was the second improbable win in four days. At Independence on Tuesday, East faced a five-point deficit with seconds remaining at Independence.
The Warriors won that one in double overtime.
“I don’t know if the guys can’t play loose until they get down or what it is,” said East coach Derek Brooks.
East struggled mightily on the offensive end for most of the knight, scoring just 27 points through three quarters.
PikeView had a 49-39 lead when Tyler Boyd sank a foul shot with 1:01 to play.
Jon Sims hit a three to cut the margin to 49-42.
After a Panther turnover, Zach Cook made a foul shot to cut the lead to six.
“I told the guys if we didn’t get a steal on the in bounds pass, we had to foul immediately,” Brooks said.
Boyd made two foul shots to make it 51-43.
Dylan Brehm’s three from the right side got East within five with :39.8 showing.
PikeView’s Todd Vest made one of two at the line, and Cook scored inside to trim the lead to 52-48.
After another Panther foul shot, Sims drained a fade away three wiht :13 left to nibble further into the lead. It was 53-51.
PikeView went 1-2 at the stripe again.
Sims was fouled. He made the first shot. He missed the second, and Cook got a hand on the ball.
But it ended back with Sims, who was fouled as he put up a shot with .2 left.
After he made the first attempt, the Panthers called time. He returned to make the tieing shot and send the game to overtime.
“We just had to strap it on on defense and make some shots,” Sims said.
The extra period was all East.
Cook scored inside and drew a foul. He missed the free throw but grabbed the rebound and laid it back in for two more.
East, which hadn’t led since the opening seconds of the third quarter, was up 58-54.
“I was calling for the ball because I had a guard on me,” Cook said. “I knew I put the foul shot up too hard. I went after it and scored again.”
“PikeView’s big had fouled out, so we wanted to get the ball to Zach,” Brooks commented.
The momentum was all with the Warriors, who scored 15 straight in the overtime to lead by as much as 69-54.
“We shouldn’t have to work that hard at the end to get into the game,” Brooks said.
Sims had 17 points, 15 in the fourth quarter and OT. Corey McKinney scored 15, followed by Brehm (12), Logan Mullins (11) and Cook (9).
Body tossed in 15 for PikeView. Wayne Brookman had 11 and Vest scored 10.
The game was a near reverse of a meeting earlier this month, when PikeView came back from a double digit deficit to beat the Warriors.
“This was a revenge game,” Brooks said
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.