SOUTHINGTON - It has been seven years since the Southington boys basketball team won its last state tournament game.
And while it took longer than 32 minutes of regulation, the Blue Knights managed to finally snap that streak Monday night.
For the first time since 2011, No. 7 Southington is heading to the second round of the Division III tournament after beating No. 26 seed Berlin 56-52 in overtime.
Jeremy Mercier led the Blue Knights with 17 points, while Holden Murphy led the Redcoats with a game-high 27.
It certainly wasn’t an easy win and both teams entered overtime 44-44.
Blue Knights big man Tim O’Shea was able to break the tie and added an extra point as he was fouled going to the basket.
Fouls were a common occurrence in the extra period with both teams taking turns at the foul line before Southington was finally able to break through.
It was a much different story in the beginning of the game with Berlin starting off with a 10-0 run.
The Redcoats were able to keep a constant 10-point lead until midway through the second quarter when Southington’s Ryan Gesnaldo and Andrew Lohneiss hit back-to-back 3-point goals.
The Blue Knights were able to hold the Redcoats to just one basket throughout the duration of the half, but going into the break, Berlin led by one (21-20).
Southington took control after the break, gaining its first lead of the game after Lohneiss hit back-to-back baskets. But the Redcoats quickly answered back with a 6-0 run.
Berlin was able to tie up the game and keep it close until the end.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or email@example.com
No. 7 Southington 56, No. 26 Berlin 52 (OT)
Berlin 19 2 8 15 8 - 52
Southington 10 10 12 12 12 - 56
BERLIN: TJ Beardsley 1-2-4, Nick Carrell 0-1-1, Ryan Hyde 1-0-2, Holden Murphy 9-6-27, Dylan Frisk 1-0-2, Giani Farelli 3-0-8, Mike McCarthy 3-0-8. Totals: 18-9-52.
SOUTHINGTON: Ryan Gesnaldo 2-2-8, Colin Burdette 2-2-6, Andrew Lohneiss 4-3-12, Jeremy Mercier 6-5-17, Cameron Clynes 1-0-2, Tim O’Shea 5-1-11. Totals: 30-13-56.
3-Point Goals: Murphy (B) 3 Farelli (B) 2, McCarthy (B) 2, Lohneiss (S) Gesnaldo (S) 2.
Records: Berlin 8-13, Southington 15-6.