Todd Krol-Corliss started the night hot, hitting a three during first quarter action. Corey McKean. (click for larger version)
January 24, 2018LITTLETON — There was nothing separating the Littleton Crusaders and the visiting Epping Blue Devils on Friday, Jan. 19, as it was a fast paced, up and down, back and forth battle that would come down to the final seconds. Epping would have a 48-47 lead heading into the fourth quarter, where Littleton came back to have a five-point lead with just 33 seconds remaining in the game. Epping battled back, however, as Doug Nadeau hit back to back triples, giving the Blue Devils a 63-62 lead with only 12 seconds left to play. Littleton in-bounded the ball to Todd Krol-Corliss, who had the hot hand all night, and Krol-Corliss dribbled down the right side of the court and pulled up for two, sinking a shot at the buzzer to lift Littleton to a 64-63 victory.
"What a great finish," explained Littleton coach Trevor Howard. "Todd made a huge shot for us after we squandered a five-point lead with 33 seconds remaining. We got beat defensively down the middle all night and lost their best shooter numerous times. We have a lot to work on. We struggled moving on offense and we had too many turnovers. We need to clean this stuff up moving forward."
Littleton jumped out to a 8-4 lead to start the first as Danny Kubkowski scored back to back layups, Krol-Corliss added a three and Brody Fillion a free throw, but Epping battled back to take a 15-11 lead with under a minute left to go in the first as Nadeau found his range from behind the arc, hitting back to back threes to lead the Blue Devils to a five-point lead. The Crusaders tallied five points in the final minute, however, as Jacob Allaire recorded back to back steals while Parker Briggs scored a layup and then hit a pair of free throws, bringing the score to 15-15 at the end of the first.
The game continued to go back and forth throughout the second quarter but Littleton hung on to a two-point lead at the half. Kubkowski, Briggs and Krol-Corliss would be the only Crusaders to score in the second, all recording six points, combining for 18 while Nadeau hit two more triples for Epping and Matt Bullock got to the rim at will, also scoring six points for the Blue Devils but Littleton continued to lead, up 33-31 at halftime.
Out of the half, Epping's Jake Bisaillion erupted for nine points in the third quarter while Peyton Rivers added six to lead the Blue Devils to outscore the Crusaders 17-14. Littleton's Jason Brammer and Briggs kept Littleton close, however, as the two combined for eight points in the quarter but Epping would take a 48-47 lead heading into the fourth.
In the final eight minutes, Briggs and Krol-Corliss would lead the Crusaders to a five-point lead with under a minute left to play as the two combined for 11 points while Jacob Allaire knocked down a big three but Epping wouldn't go away.
With just 33 seconds left to play, Littleton would miss the front end of a one and one on two different occasions, opening the door for the Blue Devils where Epping's Nadeau would hit back to back threes, giving the Blue Devils a 63-62 advantage with 12 seconds remaining in the game and that is where Krol-Corliss came up clutch. Krol-Corliss dribbled the ball up the right side of the court, penetrated along the baseline and knocked down a contested, pull-up jumper for the 64-63 victory.
The Crusaders were led by Krol-Corliss with 20 points while Briggs added 18 and Kubkowski 13. The Blue Devils were led by Nadeau with 21 points while Bullock added 17.
Littleton improves to a record of 7-2 on the season while Epping falls to a record of 4-4. The Crusaders will play again on Friday, Jan. 26, as they travel to play Groveton. Game time is posted for 7 p.m.
Littleton: Krol-Corliss 20, Briggs 18, Kubkowski 13, Brammer 7, Fillion 3, Allaire 3
Epping: Nadeau 21, Bullock 17, Rivers 12, Bisaillion 11, Bildeau 2