OLD WASHINGTON - If the rest of the basketball season was anything like Friday night's game at Buckeye Trail, it's going to be an entertaining few months.
The Warriors watched a 13-point lead evaporate thanks to a swarming Barnesville press, only to tie the game on a Dakota Patterson 3-pointer from the left corner to send the game to overtime.
The Warriors got going with another Patterson trey, knocked down some clutch free throws and posted a 67-64 victory against the Shamrocks.
Dylan MacMillan brings the ball up the floor against Trail on Friday.
"This is a huge victory, especially against Barnesville," said second-year Warriors' coach Rod Gray, who was the former head coach of the Shamrocks. "We were pretty motivated coming in, but we knew this was going to be a dogfight to the very end. You can't ask for anything better than two neighboring schools getting after it and playing hard."
Trail's victory snapped a seven-game skid to the Shamrocks.
"It was one of those games where if it could go wrong ... it did go wrong," Barnesville coach Chris Pack said. "I am extremely proud of the way we came back and battled."
Trail led 14-8 after one and 31-19 at the half, but the Shamrocks began to chip away by outscoring the Warriors, 17-12, in the third quarter.
"We dug ourselves a hole (in the first half) with foul trouble and got away from everything we wanted to do, but we got back into a rhythm in the second half," Pack said. "Some of that was first-game jitters."
The Warriors took a ton of momentum into the final quarter when Tyler Starr buried an off-balance 3-pointer from seemingly behind the backboard in the right corner.
The lead was 10, 49-39, when the Shamrocks went to the pressure.
"We were in the wrong set when they started pressuring us, and that's my fault," Gray acknowledged. "When we went to another set out of bounds in the overtime, we didn't have any trouble getting (the ball) in."
Barnesville scored 12 of the game's next 14 to knot the game at 51 with 3:34 to play.
Preston Dornon ignited the rally, scoring six points in the spurt.
Trail stopped the bleeding with a Patterson bucket, but Barnesville proceeded to go to work with senior standout Tyler Fitzpatrick, who scored on three consecutive possessions, putting Barnesville up, 57-53 with less than a minute to play.
After a turnover, Patterson was left all alone and made the Shamrocks pay by draining another 3-pointer, but Zach Dornon answered at the other end to extend the Rocks upperhand back to three, which set up the regulation-ending theatrics.
"It looked like we had the game put away," Pack said. "But, you have to give a lot of credit to (Trail) because they hit a big shot. The shot at the end of the third quarter was huge."
The Shamrocks, who had nearly every player on the floor saddled with foul trouble, struck first in the overtime thanks to a short jumper by Brandon Stephens.
However, Patterson proved once again to be a thorn in the Shamrocks' side with his fifth bonus basket of the game, putting Trail on top, 62-61.
Zach Dornon, who evenly divided 30 points with his twin brother, eventually tied the game at 63 thanks to a short jumper.
The Warriors, who were unflappable other than the 4-minute stretch in the fourth quarter when they turned it over seven times, watched savvy point guard C.J. Beaver mesh four consecutive charity tosses down the stretch to salt the game away.
"We had some correctable errors," Pack said. "We have to take care of the basketball better, knock down some foul shots and not dig ourselves such a deep hole. We feel pretty good we'll be competitive every night out."
Patterson finished with a game-high 29 points.
"Dakota is a pretty good shooter," Gray said. "I was most impressed with how when the game was on the line he knew what he wanted to do."
Beaver finished with 14 points, while Starr tallied 11.
Fitzpatrick complemented the Dornon's scoring with a double-double. He netted 12 points and added 11 rebounds.