by Jake DeLuca
The Armstrong River Hawks (7-7) boys varsity basketball team hosted the Shady Side Academy Indians (10-4) on Friday in a game that came down to the final shot in the fourth quarter.
The River Hawks came into this game off of a 29-27 loss to Kiski Area and against Shady Side Friday night Armstrong came out of the gates with a mission.
Armstrong was able to jump out to a 12-2 lead thanks to two three pointers from Joe McCanna, but the River Hawks wouldn’t hold that large of a lead for long as Shady Side battled back to make the score 13-10 at the end of the first.
Armstrong started the second quarter as hot as they did the first, jumping out to an 18-11 lead before Shady Side drew to within two heading into half time, the River Hawks up 18-16.
Coming out of the half Shady Side would take their first lead of the game at 21-20, but that lead would not stay for long. The River Hawks and Indians went back and forth and at the end of three quarters Shady Side held a 30-27 lead.
Armstrong and Shady Side continued trading baskets and leads in the fourth quarter, until Armstrong took a 7 point lead and for a while that looked to be enough, but Shady Side kept battling.
After going through a scoring dry-spell the Indians battled back to tie the game at 48-48, giving Armstrong the ball with just 6.9 seconds remaining on the clock.
As soon as Shady Side tied the game Armstrong Head Coach Greg Hutcherson signaled a time-out to draw up what would end up being the game winning play.
Heading out of the time-out Nate Baillie would inbound the ball, get open, and drive to the basket for the game winning layup to give Armstrong a 50-48 win.
With the win over Shady Side, Armstrong improves to 7-7 on the season and will be back home to play Greensburg Salem (6-10) on Tuesday at 7:30 PM.