For the second straight year, the Beverly boys basketball team went on the road and defeated Lynn English with a buzzer-beater.
Last year it was Nick Cross’ deep three-pointer but this year, with just eight tenths of a second left, Jon Berchoff finished off a perfectly executed out of bounds play and the Panthers pulled out the thrilling 78-77 win.
The win clinched the state tournament for the Panthers (11-7) and was just the way to end what’s been a very remarkable week for the team and head coach Scott Lewis.
“This capped off a week where we beat Lynn Classical, Lynn English and Salem and that doesn’t happen to too many programs,” said Lewis. “It’s a good feeling. We were struggling during the season with injuries and not playing well.”
Freddy Hogan hit a three-pointer with 18 seconds left to put the Bulldogs up by one and Beverly came down just like last year and didn’t take a timeout.
“The ball got batted around a little bit but we got it underneath and then I had to take a timeout with eight-tenths of a second left,” said Lewis. “We ran a play for Berchoff and executed it perfectly. He was wide open.”
Berchoff had 13 points on the night, Cross led the team with 23 points and Chris Sinclair also contributed 13 points.
Marblehead 73, Gloucester 44: Marblehead (8-7) shot the lights out early hitting seven first-half three-pointers en route to a 46-12 halftime lead. Cian Saunders was sensational draining five field goals from downtown to finish with 22 points.
Lynnfield 53, Ipswich 48: Ben Rice had a big second half for Ipswich (1-16) grabbing 11 total rebounds to go with seven points. Matt Jaeger (13 points) added three, second half three-pointers and Jake Long finished with 16 points as the Tigers attempted to mount a comeback trailing 14 at the half.