JOHNSTOWN -The season came to an abrupt end for the Johnstown Sir Bills on Friday night.
Facing No. 20 Granville in a Section II Class B play-in game at Johnstown High School, the 13th-seeded Sir Bills could not come up with the key fourth-quarter play they needed as the Golden Horde put together a 15-6 late-game run to upset Johnstown 60-50 and advance in the postseason tournament.
“You have to give Granville a lot of credit,” Johnstown coach Matt Guzielek said. “They had a good game plan coming in and I thought played well together. Most importantly, they stepped up and made shots. In the first half, they knocked down a bunch of shots and it just continued into the second half.”
Johnstown got off to a fast start, jumping out to a 9-4 lead before Granville got back-to-back 3-pointers from Matt Fuller and Trace Bourn to take a 10-9 advantage.
The Sir Bills retook the lead before Jon Amaral and Zachary Bernard-Vanderminden hit a basket and a 3-pointer respectively to help Granville win the opening quarter 18-13.
The Sir Bills’ Ben Wager asserted himself in the opening minutes of the second quarter, drawing a foul, blocking a shot and hitting a basket.
However, Granville came up with a pair of baskets to build its lead back to seven points, 22-15 midway through the quarter.
The Golden Horde built its lead to seven, 24-17 before the Sir Bills got unanswered baskets from Trevor Sweet and Jamal Vazquez to cut the lead to three, 24-21 at the break.
Johnstown rallied back with the help of three 3-pointers from Devin Boyle to tie the game at 33 with 3:12 left in the third quarter.
Bourn converted a pair of free-throws to give Granville a 35-33 advantage before Matthew Boyle hit a 3-pointer to give Johnstown its first lead since late in the first quarter, 36-35 with 2:38 left in the third quarter.
Granville responded with a 7-1 run in the final two minutes of the quarter to carry a 42-37 lead into the final period.
Again, the Sir Bills battled back with a pair of free-throws from Vazquez and a put back on an offensive rebound from Wager to cut the Golden Horde lead to a single point, 42-41, with 4:27 left to play.
Bourn hit a three for Granville and Johnstown responded with a free-throw from Matthew Boyle and another basket from Wager to stay within a point, 45-44, with just under five minutes to play.
Granville coach Grant Sharrow called for a time out and his team came out of the session with a sense of urgency.
Morgan Williams drew a shooting foul and made both free-throws before Amaral hit a basket and a 3-pointer off turnovers by the Sir Bills to open a 52-44 lead.
Vazquez converted a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 52-46, but Johnstown could not cut into the Granville lead.
Despite holding the Golden Horde without a field goal, the Sir Bills could not capitalize as Granville was able to pull down defensive rebounds, often limiting Johnstown to a single shot at the hoop and forcing the Sir Bills to foul to get the ball back.
The Golden Horde responded with an 8-for-10 effort from the free-throw line, while Johnstown got baskets from James Soler and Wager to put the final score at 60-50 in favor of Granville.
“When we went up by one, I think it was the same thing that has hurt us all year; the ability to get a stop,” Guzielek said. “I thought we had some tough matchups tonight, especially against the quick, athletic big guys. Their rebounding was a huge part of us not being able to get closer.”
Bourn led Granville with 20 points, while Williams had 13 and Fuller added 10.
Devin Boyle led Johnstown with his 14-point effort that included four 3-pointers.
Wager finished with 11 points and Vazquez chipped in with 10 points.
No. 20 Granville advances to face fourth-seeded Hudson Tuesday night at Hudson High School.
Johnstown will graduate seven seniors, Ryan Gargiulo, Devin Boyle, Soler, Vazquez, Sweet, Jack Fitzgerald and Tanner Hlozansky, from the squad.
“I thanked them for all the hard work they put in, not only this year but for the seniors for the four years they have been here,” Guzielek said. “It was a great bunch of kids I really enjoyed coaching. It is unfortunate it had to end this way.”
Johnstown closed out the season with a 6-15 overall record.
Granville 60, Johnstown 50
Granville18 6 18 18 – 60
Johnstown13 8 16 13 – 50
Sumner 1-0-3, Bourn 6-6-20, Amaral 4-0-9, Bernard-Vanderminden 1-0-3, Fuller 3-2-10, Williams 2-9-13, LeClair 1-0-2. Totals: 18-17-60.
M. Boyle 2-1-6, D. Boyle 4-2-14, Soler 1-0-2, Billa 0-1-1, Vazquez 2-6-10, Sweet 3-0-6, Wager 4-3-11. Totals: 16-13-50.
3-point goals: Granville 7 (Bourn 2, Fuller 2, Sumner, Jon Amaral, Bernard-Vanderminden); Johnstown 5 (D. Boyle 4, M. Boyle).