WAREHAM — After a dramatic evening of high school hoops, the Wareham Vikings gave the ball to their sophomore sensation Dom Mello.

With the score tied at 58 and 28.6 seconds left in the first overtime period, Mello, who finished with 26 points, dribbled down the clock waiting for the perfect moment to attack.

“I practiced my whole life for moments like that, and I’m just glad it went in,” said Mello after Monday's game.

His big pull-up jumper and the resulting 60-58 overtime win over Case earned the Vikings a chance to play for the SCC championship on Friday.

“We wanted the ball in his hands,” said Wareham coach Steve Faniel. “That was the shot that presented itself, and the kid (Mello), people forget he is just a sophomore, has ice water in his veins and wants to take the shot. He was a willing passer tonight, but on that one, I think he wanted that shot.”


Dom Mello... Clutch pic.twitter.com/T8ULN7slvP


— SouthCoast Varsity (@SC_Varsity) February 13, 2018

Wareham trailed for the entire game until Jamual Sims, who finished with 19 points, hit a free throw to give the Vikings a 55-54 with 42.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Vikings would get a stop on the subsequent defensive possession, but Mello was only able to hit one of two free throws to move the lead to two, 56-54. The Cardinals settled for a deep three from the left corner from sophomore point guard Alex Levesque, but the shot rimmed out. Case senior Drew Plante grabbed the offensive board and put the ball back up and in to tie the game and force the extra period.

Plante was phenomenal all night, showcasing an inside-out game, and a fine shooting stroke. Plante scored a game-high 34, including two of five from deep and 10 of 14 from the line. It was also a historic evening for Plante as he went for his 1,000th point on a free throw with 2:20 left in the third quarter.

The Vikings had very few answers for Plante down low in the post and the problem got more difficult when Wareham’s one true inside presence, 6-foot-5 Dom Labelle went down with an ankle injury in the first quarter. Plante had 20 points at the break as Case led Wareham 26-20.

Wareham, which has adopted the modern NBA style of almost exclusive three-point shots and lay-ups, struggled from outside, connecting on only five of 29 attempts from deep. Despite the atrocious shooting numbers, Wareham’s pressure defense and clutch play propelled them to the victory. The Vikings spent much of the evening in a 1-2-2 full court press and then fell back into a 2-3 zone.

The feisty Wareham squad never let up and now shifts its focus to Apponequet, which beat them in Wareham earlier this season 89-87 in a thriller.

“We want revenge, we had our mind set on winning this game to get to the next one Friday (at Apponequet) and hopefully have a chance to win the SCC championship,” said Mello.

For Case, outside of Plante, who also added 12 rebounds, their next leading scorer was Levesque who scored eight points.

FANIEL ON POOR SHOOTING: “We get into lulls where the 3-pointers aren’t going in and it affects our defense and it effects our energy and it affects our fast break, the other night when the threes are going down, we were flying all over the place. Tonight we were a little lethargic because the ball was falling, and that’s a growing process.”

WARM-UP WEAR: The Vikings dawned hoodie tee shirts in warm-ups with “don’t settle” on the back, possibly serving as a reminder to the perimeter-oriented Vikings to get to the paint when their shots aren’t falling.

IS THAT A CHIPPEWA OR A CARDINAL: In logo and color scheme, the Case Cardinals look quite a bit like the Central Michigan Chippewas, maroon and gold with a block “C” on their gear.

CELEBRATING SENIOR NIGHT: Before the game Wareham seniors Jared Yates, Elijah McAllister, Jamual Sims, and Nick Perry were honored with their parents and guardians.

NEXT: Case plays Old Colony at home Wednesday at 6:30, while the Vikings play in the SCC championship against Apponequet in Lakeville on Friday at 6:30.

Case (12-5, 8-5)

Alex Levesque 8, Drew Plante 34, Bradley Martel 2, Sherratt 5, William Kenyon 5

Wareham (12-5, 10-3)

Nick Perry 2, Dom Mello 26, Darien Gibson 4, Jamual Sims 19, Elijah McAllister 2, Bryce Fernandes 3, Taylor Carlson 6

Case;11;16;16;9;2 — 58

Wareham;9;11;20;14;4 — 60

3-pointers: C- Plante 2, Levesque 2, Kenyon 1; W- Mello 3, Sims 1, Fernandes 1