Sailfish Fall to Tars In Tournament Championship In Heartbreaking Fashion
March 5, 2017
Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- An intense final 48 seconds saw the Sunshine State Conference Tournament title go up for grabs as the Palm Beach Atlantic men's basketball team came up just short, falling 71-70 to Rollins College. The Sailfish were in search of the program's first-ever tournament title on Sunday afternoon in the ICI Center.
In another come-from-behind game for the Sailfish, PBA found themselves down 16 with three and a half minutes to play in the opening half, before narrowing it down to eight points at halftime.
The ‘Fish swung momentum in their favor to open the second half as they outscored the Tars 29-11 over the first 12 minutes of the second half to jump out ahead by 10. Milos Kostic led the way during the Sailfish run, as he connected on four shots from distance for 12 of his 21 on the night.
The 21 points for the junior marks his career-high. The Belgrade, Serbia native landed 6-of-9 from the field, with 5-of-8 of them being from long range. Kostic’s only two-point bucket came at the 13:35 mark when he inbounded a ball off an unsuspecting Tars defender and scored inside the paint to bring the ‘Fish within four. He also led the ‘Fish in assists with six on the night.
With the Sailfish leading by 10, Rollins chipped away at the Sailfish lead outscoring the ‘Fish 20-12 over a seven minute period to cut the PBA lead to two with 48 seconds remaining.
With 13 ticks remaining and the Tars with the ball, they took the ball up the court beating the Sailfish defense and Connor McKim hit a three pointer to put the Tars up by one with four seconds remaining.
A perfect Hail Mary pass from Michael Stones to Bakari Warthen gave the Sailfish one last opportunity, but the ‘Fish were unable to convert on the final possession, falling to the Tars 71-70.
Warthen finished the night with 21 points, connecting on 9-of-21 from the field while adding one from distance. The West Palm Beach, Fla. native hit both of his free throw attempts and snagged seven rebounds.
Malek Barber added 10 points of his own, hitting 3-of-7 from the field while knocking down 4-of-6 from the stripe. The North Port, Fla. native also grabbed six rebounds while dishing out three assists.
As a team, the Sailfish shot 45.3 (24-of-53) percent from the field, knowing down 46.7 (7-of-17) percent from the arc. The ‘Fish knocked down 62.5 (15-of-24) percent from the stripe as well.
With the loss, the Sailfish finished the 2016-2017 season 16-13 overall.
Two Sailfish were named to the 2017 Sunshine State Conference All-Tournament team, as Warthen and Kostic received the honors.
2017 SSC Men's Basketball Tournament Team:
Jeff Merton - Rollins (MVP)
Bakari Warthen - Palm Beach Atlantic
Joey Galvis - Rollins
Milos Kostic - Palm Beach Atlantic
Connor Mckim - Rollins
Elvar Fridksson - Barry