It was a reversal of fortune the likes of which we’ve not seen in a long, long time.
Early Tuesday night, it looked like seniors Casey McConihe and Tino Laboy would earn Amherst a solid win over Midview in varsity Southwestern Conference action.
But the Middies proved anything but middling. From down 10, they held the Comets varsity boys scoreless for eight straight minutes in the third quarter and into the fourth, rolling to an unbroken 26-point rally.
Jacob Wells and Alonzo Banks found ways to escape the Amherst press time after time, taking big passes down the court for quick Midview transitions.
Amherst forward Carter Zajkowski finally put the brakes on that run, drawing a foul and sinking two at the line.
Midview allowed only two more Comets points — by Alec Dimacchia, also from a foul — until the 2:20 mark in the final quarter, when Zajkowski dropped one in.
That made nearly 12 minutes with zero Amherst baskets except from foul shots.
The Comets ended the night down 23. The final: 80-57.
What makes that score so devestating is that Amherst put up such a good fight in the first half. McConihe gave the Comets a pull-ahead basket and Laboy nailed another two to end the first quarter up 16-15.
They teamed to open the second period with back-to-back baskets. The lead flip-flopped four times in the middle of the second quarter, then Laboy caught fire, tying it at 26 on a trey from the corner before leading the Comets to a 12-point advantage.
Midview scored seven in a row to pull within five at the half.
Johnny Matakovich and Marshall Busey scored quickly after the break, but that’s when the Middies kicked into gear.
The loss puts the Comets boys at 2-9 overall, 0-6 in the SWC.
Amherst hosts Berea-Midpark this Friday in a non-conference game at 7:30 p.m.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Johnny Matakovich steps to the line early Tuesday for a free throw. The Comets lost to the Middies 80-57.