Tonawanda News

High Schools

December 8, 2012

NT outlasts Tonawanda in annual rivalry T-NT showdown

Tonawanda News —

North Tonawanda guard Joe Piotrowski never knew what it felt like to beat a Tonawanda team — until Friday night.

The junior scored 13 points, including eight straight at the end of the third quarter that ultimately propelled his team to a 48-43 win over Tonawanda.

Piotrowski was excited and proud of the way his team played after the game.

"We lost T-NT in basketball the past two years so it's exciting to come out and get a win on our home floor," he said. "I thought they played great defense though, pressuring our point guards up the court and make us go faster than we wanted to."

The Jacks (1-2) trailed 33-32 with under a minute remaining in the third quarter after leading for the majority of the game. The Warriors (1-2), on a 12-5 run to end the quarter, seemed poised to take control of the game after a dismal shooting performance for most of the night.

That's when Piotrowski took over. After a 3-pointer by Warriors point guard Ben Stich, Piotrowski brought the ball up court and scored on a one-dribble drive to the basket from the 3-point line. On the Jacks' next possession the Warriors forced an errant pass from NT forward Chris Woodard that went over the half-court line, which would have resulted in an over-and-back violation. But the referee said to play on, motioning that the ball had been deflected. 

So NT guard Nehemiah Stone took a few dribbles and whipped the ball up to Piotrowski who sunk a buzzer-beating runner from beyond the arc to give his team a four-point advantage heading to the final quarter. That turned the momentum of the game and Jacks never trailed again in the contest.

"Piotrowski made a couple of huge plays when we needed them," NT coach Ryan Mountain said. "The 3 off the backboard to end the third and the loose ball hustle play. He was great tonight."

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