Down a bucket, Columbia junior guard Kerry Glover tied it with 1 minutes, 15 seconds remaining, and followed that with a game-winning and-1 layup and free-throw with three seconds left to lead the Tide to a 73-70 season-opening Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Five win at Lancaster Mennonite on Tuesday night.

“It was either me or Michael Poole to take the shot (in the final seconds),” Glover said. “I chose to be the one.”

First half: Lancaster Mennonite (0-1 league, 0-2 overall) was coming off Monday’s season-opening 68-36 loss to Lancaster Catholic. That drought carried over into the start of Tuesday’s game, when the Blazers fell behind 16-4, in part thanks to seven first-quarter turnovers. Lancaster Mennonite answered with a 19-4 run to take a 23-20 lead. It was a back-and-forth game from there, with a total of eight lead changes by the end. The Tide (1-0, 1-0) took a 32-31 advantage into intermission.

Second half: The Blazers grew their largest lead to 42-36 and led 52-47 at the end of the third quarter. Lancaster Mennonite senior Cole Fisher, last year’s league-leading scorer, went to the bench with his fourth foul and his team up 46-44 at the 1:00 mark of the third third quarter. When he returned with 5:55 to go, Columbia held a 56-55 edge.

Star players: Glover is one of three returning starters from last year’s L-L Section Five title team that reached the District 3-3A semifinals and made an appearance in the state tournament. He finished with a team-high 26 points. He and senior teammate Michael Poole, Jr. (20 points) paced the Tide in the victory.

Also, Glover apparently performed on a hobbled ankle that he injured in Friday’s practice, getting cleared by the school’s athletic trainer just before he got on the bus to Lancaster Mennonite.

“All offseason I worked for this,” Glover said. “It’s my time now.”

Fisher and sophomore teammate Camden Hurst (28 points) led the Blazers with 28 points apiece.

Quotable: A year ago, Columbia was 12-1 at home but 6-8 on the road, with only two of those road wins coming against teams with a plus-.500 record. In the locker room after Tuesday’s game, Glover said to his teammates, “If this was a year ago and we went down five, we would have folded.”

In other words, the Tide took another step forward in Tuesday’s season-opening win.

Asked what he thinks of Columbia’s prospects this season, Glover said, “Definitely winning leagues, districts and going far in states.”

BOX SCORE


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