Gilbert boys hang on to defeat Chandler Basha - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Gilbert boys hang on to defeat Chandler Basha

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Posted: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 10:29 pm | Updated: 12:45 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Judd Welfringer buried his face in his jersey. It was the one late-game shot Chandler Basha couldn't hit, the last one of the night.

A furious fourth-quarter rally missed by a swish, and host Gilbert - in control for the first 26 minutes - held on for a 60-58 victory on Tuesday night to snap a two-game skid.

It was Welfringer and Tyler Miller who calibrated the comeback in the closing stanza. A 14-point Gilbert lead late in the third quarter became a brief, one-point deficit. And though a couple offensive rebounds helped the Tigers get their lead back to two points with 14 seconds left, Basha was on a roll.

Miller scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-point play and a layup for a 58-57 lead.

Welfringer hit a pair of 3-pointers in the quarter, but after Nick Markovich dribbled around looking for a seam for himself, he found Welfringer by himself from nearly 18 feet hit the front rim.

"Wide open, in rhythm, it was there," Basha coach Brad Pinter said. "I couldn't ask for a better shot."

The Tigers (11-2) couldn't have asked for a better beginning. While Basha couldn't get a shot to fall and hurt itself with an ever-escalating amount of turnovers, the Tigers moved the ball with ease. They shared in the half-court offense, in transition and in the paint.

Void of a true big man and low-post presence they've enjoyed in season's past, Gilbert installed a new offensive style this season, one more reliant on perimeter play and swinging the ball from side to side.

The result was leads of 19-10 after one quarter, then 38-29 and 47-36 after three quarters.

"It was our best job offensively of sharing the ball all season, almost to a fault when we passed up some shots," Tigers coach Jay Caserio said. "We've struggled with (sharing) but the kids did a wonderful job of it."

Until the final minutes, Basha (8-7) couldn't do the same. Markovich and Miller account for 30.7 points per game, but despite Miller's late awakening, were a combined 8-for-31 from the field.

Gilbert got 18 points from Shawn King, 15 from Francisco Ahumada and 12 from Seth Taylor as they were able to beat Basha for transition baskets.

"We made them take tough shots and not many second chances," Caserio said.

The effort might have been wasted had the Tigers not hit the offensive boards, and the game was capped with two free throws from Ahumada for the final outcome with 40 seconds left. Miller's 3-pointer with 17 seconds rimmed out and Ahumada made one more free throw before Welfringer's final fling.

"If we (rebound) that, I feel like we win," Pinter said. "We may or may not have, but we didn't close it out."

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