State basketball powerhouse Saint Francis DeSales needed some big plays late in the game to hold-off the Unioto Shermans, 40-37 in the Division 2 Regional Boys Basketball Semis at Southerastern High School.
Unioto played tough the entire game and stood toe-toe with the Stallions, never trailing by more than five points in the contest.
The score by quarters saw 6-6 after the first quarter, DeSales up 17-13 at halftime, 26-24 after three periods and the final of 40-37. Unioto did have a few leads in the game and was up 37-36 late in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 38-37 with 20 seconds left in the game, the Tanks had the ball with a chance for the lead. But a turnover on a Unioto drive to the baseline when stepping out of bounds, gave the Stallions the ball back. That led to a Shermans foul and DeSales sinking both free throws for the 40-37 lead. Unioto had the ball with 3.2 seconds and the length of the court to go, but turned it over on the pass to mid-court, which ended the game.
DeSales was led by 6'5 senior Desmond Watson's 19 points, followed by Obed Achirem's 10. Three other Stallions combined for the other 11 points.
Unioto was led by Cameron Debord's 13 points, with 7 each from Isaac Little and Evan Park. Yavion Galloway was held to 6 and both DeSean Branson and Gunnar Greenwalt each added 2.
Unioto controlled the glass with 24 rebounds compared to 12 for DeSales. But, the Stallions won the game with one more field goal than Unioto. DeSales shot 15/29- including 5/6 from the arc for a combined 52%. Unioto was 14/38- including 4/16 from the arc for a combined 37%. Both teams made 5 free throws.
Unioto committed 10 turnovers while DeSales had 7.
DeSales advances to the Elite 8, playing the Warren/Meadowbrook winner for the regional title at 3pm Saturday at Southeastern High School.
Unioto closes their season at (18-6) with a Sweet 16 appearance.
You can hear the final radio play-by-play call with the broadcast team of Mike Smith and Tom Beard on our podcast link below....