Ethan Bliss made seven three-pointers — one coming just before the buzzer in regulation and two more in overtime — and scored 31 points to lead Cooperstown’s boys to a 78-70 non-league basketball victory at Sherburne-Earlville on Thursday.
Perhaps the biggest basket came from a guy playing in his final game for Cooperstown. With the Redskins trailing by a point and about 1:30 left in overtime, Noah Sims hit a step-back three-pointer to give the Redskins the lead for keeps.
Sims, who finished with 19 points, is an exchange student from Australia. Cooperstown coach Dave Bertram said Sims is heading back to Australia today.
“He does a lot of good things for us,” Bertram said of Sims, who also played football for Cooperstown. “He penetrates well. It’s definitely going to hurt. It’s going to leave a mark, but we have younger guys who have been stepping up.”
Bliss followed Sims’ go-ahead basket with a three-pointer as the Redskins pulled away.
“It was fantastic,” Bertram said of the victory that evened his team’s record at 5-5. “We played strong, hard-nosed Cooperstown basketball. Everybody contributed the whole way. We got down by 12 at one point and we just fought back.”
Bliss’ 31 points and seven threes are not his season highs. In a 74-44 victory over Westmoreland in December, Bliss scored 34 points and hit nine threes.
“It flowed to him,” Bertram said of Bliss’ night. “It wasn’t a get-it-to-him type thing. He took it in stride. They were in his face, but we got him the ball in good situations.”
Cooperstown, which graduated five starters off last season’s team that advanced to the Class C state semifinals, trailed by three points in regulation. The Redskins were forced to foul with about 10 seconds left. S-E missed both free throws.