ATWATER — Stephen Hillyer is working his way through a shooting slump early on this season.
However, when his team needed him to make a big shot, Hillyer came through. The Buhach Colony senior hit a 3-pointer with 8 seconds left to send the Thunder into overtime.
Hillyer added another trey in the overtime period as Buhach Colony defeated Escalon 78-73 on Saturday night to win the SaveMart Classic for the second straight year.
"I've been on a cold streak these first three games," Hillyer said. "I had to make at least one."
Time was running out on the Thunder (4-0) in regulation.
The Cougars' Alec Von Alvensleben knocked down a pair of free throws to give Escalon (2-3) a 64-61 lead with 24 seconds left.
Buhach Colony's Joe Marquez had a good look at a 3-pointer, but missed with 12 seconds left. The ball went out of bounds off Escalon.
"We ran a play for me to go out and get a three," said Hillyer, who scored 13 points. "Everything just worked perfect. I give my teammates the credit. They set the screens to get me open."
Hillyer drained the shot from the corner as the Thunder bench erupted.
Von Alvensleben had a good look at a game-winner, but misfired with 3 seconds left.
"We're chasing the rebound at the end of regulation, if we grab it the game is over," said Escalon coach Martin Louro. "They get the ball and we're able to get a three to send the game to overtime."
Kaden Verdin scored seven of his 15 points in overtime to help the Thunder pull out the victory. Verdin also finished with 11 rebounds to earn a spot on the all-tournament team.
Marquez was named the tournament MVP after scoring 17 points. Roger Klauser added nine points and 14 rebounds to earn a spot on the all-tournament team.
"This is the type of game that builds confidence," said Buhach Colony coach John Bliss, whose team improved to 4-0. "We showed we can win a close game. You got guys hitting big shots like Hillyer. Roger took four charges tonight. These are all things you have to do to win."
The Thunder overcame a poor shooting night. Buhach Colony made just 6 of 29 from beyond the three-point arc.
Buhach Colony did get good production inside from its trio of centers. Verdin had a big game. Aaron Cochran added seven points and Felix Borruel gave Bliss some nice minutes.
Escalon trailed by eight points at the half, but opened the third quarter with a 12-4 run to tie the game at 40 with 3:41 left in the quarter.
Von Alvensleben was named to the all-tournament team after scoring 22 points. He was joined on the team by teammate Matt Silveira, who scored 15 points.
The game was close throughout the second half. Escalon hurt itself, making just 18 of 34 attempts from the free-throw line.
Gregori 61, Atwater 60
ATWATER -- The Jaguars came back from a 10-point deficit at halftime to win. Atwater's Hector Rodgiuez took a shot to win the game, but missed from the right elbow as time expired.
The Falcons dropped to 5-4 on the season.
BUHACH COLONY 78, ESCALON 73 (OT)
At Buhach Colony
Escalon 16 12 19 17 9 --
Buhach 20 16 13 15 14 --
ESCALON -- Owen Pangilinan 12, Ryan Bartelink 4, Alec Von Alvensleban 22, Phillip Kimble 7, Brian Gregorio 9, Jon David 3, Matt Silveira 15. Totals: 22 18-34 73.
BUHACH COLONY -- Joe Marquez 17, Tyler Freitas 3, Roger Klauser 9, Stephen Hillyer 13, Felix Borruel 4, Tyler Dew 2, Tyson Coffey 2, Sarfraaz singh 1, John Zaragoza 3, Aaronc Cochran 7, Kaden Verdin 15. Totals: 29 12-23 78.
3-pointers: Escalon 7 (Von Alvensleban 3, Pangilinan 2, Gregorio 1, Bartelink 1), BC 6 (Hillyer 3, Marquez 1, Freitas 1, Klauser 1); Team Fouls: Escalon 23, BC 24; Fouled Out -- Gregorio (E).
Records: Escalon 2-3; Buhach Colony 4-0.