ALVASTON, Derby — Myerscough slipped to an uncharacteristic first defeat of the season falling 79-76 in overtime to Derby College on Wednesday in the Elite Academy Basketball League.
Konrad Kantorski scored a game-high 23 points and Edoardo Del Cadia, who fouled out with 52 seconds left in regulation, added 22 and 20 rebounds for Myerscough (3-1).
Kantorski, who missed a chance to win the game at the buzzer, came up short with his 3-point attempt to tie the game in overtime after Myerscough was outscored 11-8.
“We have to learn to stay focused in difficult situations,” said Kantorski. “We can’t turn our heads and change things or let someone catch fire. We have to recognise that earlier and that cost us the game.”
Victor Papa had season highs of both points and rebounds with 14 and 10 in the loss. Mate Okros, meanwhile, scored 10 of his 13 points after halftime.
“The result is obviously disappointing — it doesn’t change what we’re trying to accomplish this season and it’s one of those we have to look at and learn from,” said Myerscough coach Neal Hopkins. “As a group we’ve enjoyed a really good start to the season. We’ve gone through some adversity and won games in a difficult environment, but tonight we didn’t capitalise on that tonight.”
Myerscough looked in control following a 14-0 run, which gave the visitors a 52-45 lead with 3:35 left in the third quarter. Despite being held scoreless for over three minutes, Derby (2-3) fought back with its own 5-0 burst to trail by just four heading to the final period.
Two lead changes and two ties highlighted a tense opening exchanges before Myerscough pushed ahead 60-56. Okros would then knock down a 3-pointer to make it a six-point game, but Myerscough could never sustain a long enough run to pull away.
Tzion Essel Jaji hit back-to-back triples and Leighton Elliot-Sewell converted a tough basket under the rim to send the game to overtime.
Papa finished off a 3-point play on the first possession giving Myerscough a short-lived 71-68 advantage, as Essel Jaji, who had 16 points including five in overtime, hit his fourth three of the game.
Myerscough again took the lead through Kantorski’s 3-pointer with just over three minutes left, but an 8-2 Derby run was enough to hand Myerscough its first loss of the season.
“The frustration got the better of us in instances and that was a teller on both ends of the floor,” said Hopkins. “We don’t gain anything from that mentality and these guys will learn that very quickly and unfortunately we took a harsh lesson today. We’ve got to move forward with our play and think what’s next as opposed to what have we just done.”
Elliott-Sewell had 17 point lead Derby and hit the game-winning basket.