LONGMONT — For Skyline, it was the type of win that can resurrect a season. For Erie, it was devastating.
Skyline wiped out a six-point deficit in the final minute of regulation Friday night, then overthrew a four-point hole in overtime to escape the visiting Tigers 55-52. And it took an incredible shot by 6-foot-4 junior Matt Dietz to force the extra session.
“This is definitely the type of win that can jump-start us,” said Dietz, who led the Falcons with 17 points. “There was a lot of energy that came from this game.”
With Skyline trailing 44-42, the Falcons inbounded from beneath their attacking basket. The ball eventually worked its way to Dietz, who shot over two Erie defenders — including the 6-foot-8 Cameron McCurry — to forge a tie moments before the buzzer.
Reserve Justin Forsyth then dominated the extra period. Forsyth scored seven of his 10 points in the extra session, including a 3-point play with 1 minute, 10 seconds remaining that put the Falcons (5-7, 2-1) up for good at 52-50.
But it never would have come to that without Dietz’s heroics.
“In that situation he wanted the ball,” Skyline coach Jason Johnson said. “He wants to take the last shot. The boys did a great job when the initial set wasn’t there. The secondary set was to get it to Matt and they did a great job getting it to him.”
Dietz had no second thoughts once the ball was in his hands.
“I was really dominating them in the post all game, getting some strong moves and getting over the top,” Dietz said. “I thought it was going to be really difficult at the start the game with that 6-8 guy in there.”
Dietz credited some early-season attention to detail with his footwork for his prowess in the paint. The Falcons also got 12 points from Josh Angstead and a big 3-pointer in overtime from freshman Braden Blick.
Skyline has played a rigorous schedule, including contests against top-five squads Longmont and Holy Family, and Johnson is hoping that it’s beginning to pay off.
“I was real curious how we’d react tonight,” he said. “We took a couple of hard losses, but the boys bounced back.”
Now Erie (6-6, 2-1) will see if it can do the same. The Tigers had two chances while down two in the final 10 seconds, but turned it over each time. It was a tough one to swallow for the Tigers, who were up 43-37 approaching the 1-minute mark of regulation.
Skyline’s Seth Green nailed a 3-pointer, then Angstead got to the hoop for a layup to make it 43-42. Erie’s Alex Goodell split two free throws, setting the stage for Dietz’s tying bucket.
“It’s not that we played poorly tonight,” Erie coach Tim Leahy said. “We had a lot of good shots that didn’t go down for us, and that’s just the way the game goes sometimes.”
Things appeared to be tilting the Tigers’ way when Kyle Leahy drilled a rainbow 3-pointer at the third quarter buzzer to put Erie up 34-31. Then McCurry started the fourth with an inside 3-point play.
Leahy finished with 15 points while Andrew Campbell and reserve Triston Berringer added 10 apiece. McCurry scored eight and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
“They got some breaks and the ball went and for them, and we didn’t,” Tim Leahy said. “We’ll live to play another day.”
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Skyline 55, Erie 52 (OT)
At Skyline HS
ERIE (6-6, 2-1)
Kyle Leahy 5 2-2 15, Alex Goodell 2 1-2 5, Andrew Campbell 2 6-7 10, Josh Meyers 1 0-0 2, Cameron McCurry 3 2-5 8, Clint Allen 0 0-0 0, Bobby Bledsoe 0 0-0 0, Triston Berringer 4 0-1 10, William Campbell 1 0-0 2, Cody Hartkopp 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 11-17 52.
SKYLINE (5-7, 2-1)
Braden Blick 2 0-0 5, Josh Angstead 4 4-6 12, Deshon Elcock 0 0-2 0, Dominic Mansanares 2 1-2 5, Matt Dietz 6 5-8 17, Seth Green 2 0-0 6, Justin Forsyth 3 4-7 10, Tyler Brenneman 0 0-0 0, Nate Higgins 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 14-25 55.
Score by quarters:
Erie 7 16 11 10 8 — 52
Skyline 4 13 14 13 11 — 55
3-point field goals — Erie (5): Leahy 3, Berringer 2; Skyline (3): Green 2, Blick. Total fouls — Erie 21, Skyline 19.