The Oliver Ames boys' basketball team was unable to secure a playoff-clinching victory on Senior Night.
The Tigers fell to Sharon, 89-71 Tuesday in a Davenport Division clash against Sharon. The Eagles, like the Tigers, were able to move within one victory of earning a playoff bid.
Beating OA twice in one year was important, according to Sharon coach Bruce Jackman.
"It’s a great rivalry, and for us to beat them twice in a row – I feel good for the seniors," he said. "They hadn’t beat them in three years so it was really nice to have that happen."
Sharon won on the backs of juniors Brian Mukasa and James Fritzon, who finished the game with 30 and 31 points respectively.
Two 30-plus point scorers became too much of a handful for the Tigers.
"The bulk of this just goes to Sharon," Oliver Ames coach Don Byron said. "They shot the ball well all night. Fritzon and Mukasa, 30 and 31 - I don’t think I’ve ever hard two kids go 30 in a game against anybody. That’s two exceptional nights. In addition to that, it was the other guys. Everybody contributed from Sharon."
The bulk of Mukasa's contributions came at the right time.
While Sharon went into halftime leading 49-34, the Tigers came out strong in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to five points in the final minutes of the period. That's when Mukasa decided to put an end to OA's run.
The junior guard ripped off eight points in a row, including a buzzer beater at the end of the quarter.
"He’ll take a game over and that’s what happened there," Jackman said. "I think our defense really picked up. They got it down to [five] at one point and we put a stop to it."
Despite the loss, OA senior Andrew Reardon made sure he had a strong senior night. The captain took the game into his hands and was instrumental during OA's third quarter run, scoring 14 of his 23 points during that period.
OA's Ryan Carney finished the game with 14 points and Brendan Welch finished with 10.
Both teams will look to secure a playoff berth Friday night. Sharon will host Milford and OA will travel to Stoughton.