Wolcott boys rally for 2 OT win

The Wolcott boys’ basketball team has nine seniors on its roster, and several came up big on Saturday afternoon.

The Eagles forced overtime at home against New Fairfield, then outlasted them in double overtime, 55-51. Joe Ferrucci hit a 3-pointer with 15.6 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 36. Ferrucci (7 points) then connected on a pair of free throws with 15.4 seconds left in double overtime to seal the victory. Wolcott improved to 7-7 and is a win away from its first state tournament in five years.

Senior Jayvon Morais led the Eagles with a career-high 23 points, and his 3-pointer with 2:36 left in double overtime gave Wolcott the lead for good, 48-45.

New Fairfield didn’t go away. The Rebels hit not one, but two 3-pointers in the final two minutes, and the second one cut the Eagle lead to 52-51.
Morais hit one of two free throws, but New Fairfield missed an open look for the tie. Ferrucci secured the rebound, then swished his first foul shot. His second one struck the front of the rim, but got the home bounce into the net.

Wolcott’s comeback began with about 1:40 left in regulation. That’s when senior Terrance Stevens (12 points) jumped the passing lane, stole the ball and was fouled.

Stevens sank a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to cut Wolcott’s deficit to 36-31 with 1:22 remaining.

With a minute to play, junior Quentin Outlaw (9 points) picked off a pass and was fouled going to the basket. Outlaw made both free throws to shrink the deficit to 36-33 with 56.9 seconds to go.

On the next New Fairfield possession, Morais blocked a shot, then forced a turnover with 29.1 seconds left.

Wolcott’s game-tying shot didn’t come easy. Stevens had a pass knocked away but chased it down near half court. He dribbled toward the paint, somehow avoided a Rebel player trying to draw a charge, and passed it back to Ferrucci at the top of the key. Ferrucci’s trey hit nothing but net. After a short New Fairfield shot missed, Ferrucci got off a shot from nearly 40 feet. It just missed, and the game went to overtime.

Senior Karol Tawiah (4 points) had a big offensive rebound that led to a basket in the first overtime. Tawiah then scored an opportunistic layup off a cut on an inbound pass.

With 1:19 to go in the first overtime, Outlaw forced a turnover in front of the Wolcott bench. Morais inbounded to Ferrucci, who gave the ball right back to Morais in the corner near the Eagle bench. Morais’ 3-pointer gave Wolcott a 43-40 lead. The Eagles again led by three, 45-42, after two free throws from Stevens, but the Rebels hit a three to tie the game with 28 seconds left. An off-balance shot by Ferrucci at the buzzer clanged off the rim and brought the second overtime.

In the second overtime, Morais’ trey put Wolcott ahead, 48-45. Stevens connected on both ends of a one-and-one for a 50-45 lead with 2:11 remaining. After the first New Fairfield 3-pointer, Stevens kept a loose ball alive and tapped it back to Outlaw. Outlaw’s layup gave the Eagles a 52-48 lead with 51 ticks on the clock. The Rebels pulled within a point on their second 3-pointer in as many attempts, but the home team was able to close the game out.

Wolcott hosts Naugatuck on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the John H. Morris Gymnasium.

Caption: Joe Ferrucci’s 3-pointer tied Saturday afternoon’s game against New Fairfield and sent it to overtime. The Eagles outlasted the Rebels, 55-51, in double overtime.