BEEKMANTOWN — AuSable Valley’s Zach Cosgrove might have outdone himself Saturday.
Cosgrove, a junior, dropped a career-high 33 points on nine 3-pointers, while the Patriots outscored Northeastern Clinton 12-3 in double overtime, for a dramatic 68-59 win in the first of two Section VII Class B boys’ basketball semifinals at Beekmantown.
In the final 16 minutes that mattered most, Cosgrove scored 22 points on six 3-pointers and four free throws.
“I was just on fire, so I just kept on hitting them,” Cosgrove said. “I don’t know, I can’t even explain how good of a game this was. They have a good zone defense, but we practiced all week (how) to handle that. It paid off (Saturday).”
Robb Garrand, whose Cougars (14-6) had a chance for a go-ahead basket at the end of regulation, said Cosgrove was the obvious difference maker late in the game.
“He is an outstanding ballplayer,” Garrand said. “I’ve never seen anybody shoot like this. Like I said, it’s one thing to score 33 points when you’re covered behind the arc, but he was well behind the arc.”
After Brendan Boutin’s 3-pointer sailed wide at the end of regulation, it was AuSable Valley’s turn to hold the basketball for a final shot with 7.1 seconds remaining in the first overtime.
Shane Douglas’ off-balance shot, however, didn’t manage to reach the rim.
“We played such hard defense to get to that point,” Patriots (15-4) coach Jamie Douglass said. “But we didn’t take care of the basketball.”
AuSable Valley opened the second overtime on an 11-0 run, including back-to-back 3-point field goals from Cosgrove. Rodney Grimshaw hit a late 3-pointer, but Northeastern Clinton was unable to generate any offense down the stretch.
“It was just an outstanding game,” Douglass said. “It was a team effort. They played great together. I’m just happy for them.”