The non-league boys basketball matchup between the Hicksville Aces and the Pettisville Blackbirds began with a slow first quarter, but ended with the Aces coming up victorious 32-31 Tuesday night in Pettisville.
Hicksville came up with the ball out of the gate, but after passing for over a minute a missed shot led to a Blackbird counter in which Zakkai Kaufmann capitalized on, giving the Birds a 3-0 lead two minutes into the first quarter.
Jaret Beck of Pettisville added to the lead hitting two free throws after being fouled attempting a layup. Joey Ripke added two of his own for the Blackbirds, taking their lead to 7-0 with two minutes remaining in the quarter.
Josh Myers answered back for the Aces with 1:40 to go adding two and then adding an additional two on the following possession. The first quarter ended 7-4 in favor of Pettisville.
After a two minute drought to begin the second quarter, it was Jackson Bergman of Hicksville that got the first bucket. The three-point basket tied the score up at 7-7 with 5:30 left of the half.
Brody Balser got in on the action for the Aces as well, hitting a three of his own and making the score 10-7 in favor of the Aces.
Cayden Jacoby retaliated with a jumper and two points, but Aaron Klima hit a two for Hicksville on their next possession. The score sat at 12-9 with the Aces leading until Beck got Pettisville back in the running with a two-point basket, followed up by a basket from Ripke after a momentum shift. Jacoby came up big with a block, helping the Blackbirds take the lead (13-12) going into halftime.
Once again the third quarter started off slow with numerous possessions and limited shots. It was Kyler Baird that got the ball rolling in the second half with a jumper with 6:37 left in the quarter.
The score was 14-13 Hicksville until Pettisville made both free throws after being fouled by the intense Ace defense. The free throws gave the Blackbirds the edge yet again.
Beck added two more to extend the Blackbird lead to three, but Klima hit a three a mere three seconds after inbounding the ball. The three tied the game up once again, 17-17.
Sean Adkins hit a jumper hyping the Blackbirds up once again, but quickly in return, Klima hit another shot, tying the score at 19 all.
Ripke’s pump fake three caused the crowd to erupt and Kaufmann hitting a two made the future bright for the Blackbirds with a score of 24-19 with less than two minutes left in the third. But, like Deja vu, the Aces had a quick answer with Myers draining a two-point jumper and Balser hitting a 3-pointer, tying the score going into the fourth.
Bergman started the fourth quarter off strong for Hicksville adding a three-point bucket.
Jacoby made one out of two shots from the line after being fouled, settling the score at 27-25. Balser added to the Ace’s lead though, hitting a 3-pointer with five minutes left to play.
With Hicksville being in the bonus, Pettisville took full advantage. Beck went hit a pair from the line and Jacoby added another bucket down low against a more relaxed Aces defense.
It was 30-29 with two minutes left in the game, until Beck and Bergman each made a two-point shot which put the score at 32-31.
In fear of losing the game, Pettisville fouled Hicksville until they were shooting one-and-one. Myers missed his free throw for the Aces, but the Blackbirds came up short on their possession. A timeout with four seconds left gave the Blackbirds an opportunity, but the Hicksville defense remained strong, holding out for the victory in the final seconds.
Beck was the only player to end the game in double digits, tallying 10 points on the night.