FARMINGDALE — Evan Hepburn was expecting a shot to go up when he set up shop along the baseline in the final moments of overtime. The plan was originally to get into position for a rebound, but then Boothbay point guard Julian Aponte fired a pass to the senior forward.

“I didn’t even see it coming,” Hepburn said. “I was just cutting right through and all of a sudden it was right there.”

Fortunately for Boothbay, Hepburn knew what to do with the ball when he got it. With little wiggle room underneath the hoop, he went straight up, and his shot, which dropped in with 2 seconds left in overtime, ultimately gave unbeaten Boothbay a hard-fought 60-58 win over Hall-Dale on Friday night.

Abel Bryer picked off Brian Allen’s ensuing 3/4-court pass at the buzzer to preserve the win for the short-handed Seahawks, who improved to 5-0 on the season.

“We just played like a team, kept our heads up instead of keeping them down whenever we missed a shot. If we made a mistake, we just got over it,” said Hepburn, who led Boothbay with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven steals..

It will be a tough loss for the Bulldogs (4-2) to get over. They led by as much as 11 in the third quarter and had several opportunities to win in regulation and overtime.

“We made some bad decisions,” Hall-Dale coach Chris Ranslow said. “We once again didn’t play well enough to win. I don’t think that Boothbay beat us. I think that we beat ourselves.

Hall-Dale committed 34 turnovers, 18 in the fourth quarter and OT combined.

“I thought we looked timid at times with the basketball,” Ranslow said. “There were a couple of opportunities to close the game out and we didn’t demonstrate the discipline at the time we needed to do so.”

Already missing backup point guard Aaron Dikinson and starting power forward Joseph DiMauro due to injury and illness, the Seahawks had to play much of the first half and the bulk of overtime without senior forward John Hepburn (10 points) due to foul trouble. They also lost reserve Nick Gorey to a right leg injury in the first half.

“Our depth really helped us tonight,” Boothbay coach I.J. Pinkham said. “I got some good minutes out of Nick Burge (four points, eight rebounds) in the first half. He rebounded with their big guys, and their big guys are pretty strong.”

Allen led Hall-Dale with 17 points and 14 rebounds. He combined with Wesley LaPointe (10 points 18 rebounds) to dominate the offensive glass for the Bulldogs in the first half (13-4) and open up an eight-point lead at halftime.

“We definitely talked about that at halftime. We needed to start boxing out a little bit,” Pinkham said. “I thought we did a much better job in the second half.”

The Seahawks did limit the Bulldogs’ second chances, yet a Bryson Camp 3-pointer and Nat Crocker drive gave the Bulldogs a 33-22 lead early in the third quarter.

Bryer (12 points, six rebounds, three blocks) and Jacob Leonard helped the Seahawks chip away at the lead with six points apiece in the third.

“We were pretty disciplined tonight,” said Pinkham, whose team committed 18 turnovers. “In the second half, we moved the ball pretty good and got good shots.”

Evan Hepburn tied it with a putback to start the fourth quarter, but Hall-Dale led by six with 2:25 remaining.

The Seahawks rallied to tie it with a John Hepburn putback, an Aponte drive and an Evan Hepburn hoop set up by his brother with 36 seconds to go.

Hall-Dale still had several chances to take the lead or win it, but turned the ball over on a five second violation and on an offensive foul that negated a basket.

Boothbay set up for the last shot out of a timeout but the Bulldogs knocked away a pass to Bryer in the low post. Crocker collected it and found LaPointe at the other end for a layup, but his shot rattled off the rim at the buzzer.

John Hepburn fouled out early in overtime but the Seahawks still scored the first four points. Hall-Dale rallied from the free throw line and Boothbay missed four straight from the charity stripe with under a minute left.

Coming out of a time out, Allen was hacked and sent to the line with 15 seconds left. He missed the first and made the second to tie it, prompting Boothbay’s time out to set up Hepburn’s game-winner.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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