EPPJ boys top Summerland 48 to 47

ELGIN — Trailing by three points midway through the fourth quarter, Elgin Public-Pope John came from behind to defeat Summerland 48 to 47 Thursday night. The battle between NVC schools was a tense back-and-forth affair which wasn’t decided until the game’s final buzzer.
Dalton Rotherham gave the Bobcats a 43 to 30 lead at the 4:43 mark of the fourth quarter. The Wolfpack defense then shut down the Bobcats, allowing them just four points the rest of the way.
Senior Adam Dreger, playing his final home game, started the comeback when he got inside for a two-pointer and was fouled by Rotherham. Dreger’s free throw tied the score.
Then, after Kellan Mlnarik scored to regain the lead, EPPJ came down the floor and tied the game again on a basket by sophomore Colton Wright.
Neither team scored for the next 90 seconds. Then Jack Wemhoff was fouled. With with Wolfpack in the double-bonus, Wemhoff stepped to the line and made both free throws for a 47 to 45 lead.
Summerland had a chance to take the lead when Gage Clifton scored and was fouled. His free throw bounced off the rim, leaving the score tied at 47-all with 1:07 left on the clock.
EPPJ missed a chance to take the lead, then Summerland worked the clock down for a last shot. However, while trying to get the final shot the ball was stripped and Wemhoff, trying to secure the ball, was fouled by Connor Napier. After missing the first free throw, Wemhoff made the second with 4.5 seconds left in the game.
Summerland got the ball into Clifton’s hands, but his desperation three-point attempt bounced off the backboard, giving EPPJ their ninth win of the season.
Wemhoff and Dreger tied for the team-high in points with 13 apiece. The Wolfpack (9-12) made 12 of 15 free throws in the game. Wright had a big night on the boards, grabbing nine rebounds.