MARION - In the championship game of the 43rd annual Fannett-Metal Christmas Tournament on Tuesday night, the Shalom Christian Flames used a late fourth quarter run to pull out a win against a strong Maryland School for The Deaf team by the slim margin of 38-37.
The Orioles held the lead for almost the entire game, getting off to a hot start thanks to their active trapping defense. MSD, coached by James DeStefano, ran a 1-3-1 zone that gave the Flames trouble for most of the game. Shalom struggled to get up the floor and turned the ball over on multiple possessions, which allowed the Orioles to get easy points in transition.
However, as the game went on the Flames (8-3) began to work around the traps with crisp passing and ball movement.
“Our team is still learning to get themselves in the position to win,” Shalom coach Danley Shank said, “For three quarters I think our guys managed to do that and I was excited to see how they would come out in the fourth.”
Ahead by only one point going into the final quarter, the Orioles had gained momentum and looked as if they were going to pull away. MSD forward Damon Biskupiak stepped behind the arc and hit a three that seemed to crush the Shalom's hope.
“We knew he was going to be a tough player,” Shank said, “And defensively we tried to help out a little bit, always keep an eye on where he’s at, and try to pressure him with another man when he got the ball.”
Biskupiak finished with 13 points and went on to receive the MVP honors for his play in the tournament. His 3-pointer sparked a quick seven-point run for the Orioles and things kept looking more and more bleak for the Flames.
But just as Maryland School for the Deaf (8-2) had gotten a run, Shalom turned up its defensive intensity. They shut down the Orioles and got the game back to within two within a minute.
Down by two with 20 seconds left, Flames sophomore Cameron Roseman ran behind the 3-point line and caught the ball with a slight gap between himself and his defender. He had missed his previous two threes, but this time he delivered a dagger, putting Shalom up by one and sending the crowd into roaring cheers.
“It felt really good to make that because it shows how we don’t give up,” Roseman said, “We only led in the fourth quarter, so we just played hard and never gave up.”
Roseman finished with 15 points to lead all scorers and his game winning shot stood up as the Orioles failed to get a good shot off, turning the ball over with seconds left on the clock.
“These guys are on their way to becoming a great team,” said Shank, “and games like this are the ones that great teams find a way to win.”
Shalom Christian 38, Md. School for the Deaf 37
Damon Biskupiak 6-13 0-0 13, John Werner Jr. 2-6 1-2 6, Yave Sanchez 3-8 2-4 8, Esteban Kovacs 2-4 0-0 4, Egan Seremeth 1-1 2-3 4, Mauricio Orozco 1-4 0-0 2, Bobga Tete 1-1 0-0 2, Brady Perry 0-1 0-0 0, Stefan Anderson 0-5 0-0 . Totals — 16-43 5-9 37.
Shalom Christian (38)
Cameron Roseman 6-14 0-1 15, Jonah Stains 4-10 2-2 10, Micah Lehman 4-7 0-1 8, Coby Roseman 1-5 0-0 3, Chase Martin 1-4 0-0 2, Josh Coldsmith 0-1 0-1 0. Totals — 16-41 2-5 38.
Md. Sch. Deaf _ 10 _ 8 _ 10 _ 9 _ — _ 37
Shalom Chr. _ 4 _ 10 _ 13 _ 11 _ — _ 38
3-point goals — MSD 2 (Biskupiak, Werner Jr.). SC 4 (Ca.Roseman 3 Co.Roseman).