No. 7 East Lyme ends No. 6 Waterford's 25-game winning streak in OT
East Lyme — There was some patience required for members of the sellout crowd here Friday night, mostly because the line began forming for tickets three hours before tipoff.
But oh, the reward.
What the in-full-throat gathering witnessed was a rivalry that just keeps getting better with each rendition.
East Lyme High School snapped Waterford's 25-game win streak, a 75-71 win in overtime that gave the Lancers their first loss since Jan. 23, 2018.
Dev Ostrowski, East Lyme's whiz-kid senior, led the Vikes (10-1) with 37 points, including a 3-pointer seemingly from Flanders Fish Market in overtime, followed by a dunk that gave his team the lead for good.
"I just kept thinking 'we can't lose to Waterford,'" Ostrowski said. "The games against them are just different. We just couldn't lose, not on our home floor. I was thinking 'they can't storm the court.'"
Instead, that distinction belonged to delirious Viking Valley, in celebration of the win.
"Dev is a phenomenal player," Waterford coach Bill Bassett said. "It's funny, but I actually thought our guys did a good job guarding him. But he's going to make plays that will make your life difficult."
Ostrowski and the Vikings led by as many as 12 in the second half, only to watch the Lancers (10-1) rally. Ryan O'Connell's shot with 2.7 seconds left in regulation sent the game to overtime.
"We were down 10 with five to go and we were dead in the water," Bassett said. "But my guys didn't quit. We actually got the lead (in overtime). This was a heavyweight bout. And round one is in the books."
Luke Leonard scored 20 for East Lyme, including key free throws late in overtime. Nate Diaz added 12 on four 3-pointers.
"Two really good teams," East Lyme coach Jeff Bernardi said. "What makes this rivalry special is two very good teams and great kids on both sides."
Payton Sutman led Waterford with 18 points. O'Connell had 15, JJ Brennan scored 13, Kenny Hill had 12 and Liam Spellman scored 10. The Lancers did not help themselves by going 14-26 from the free throw line.
The teams meet again Feb. 12 in Waterford.
And now the Lancers have a few days to process what losing feels like again.
"Losing always helps with motivation," Bassett said. "We've been fortunate here to be in some magical situations. We've gotten the bounce of the ball a lot. Tonight, we didn't. I give East Lyme credit for that. I bet they took six charges. They made the hustle plays. They hit their free throws. They did the little things."
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