LYNN — It doesn’t matter the time on the clock or their location on the court, a shooter never hesitates.
After Lynn English’s Brian Redondo missed the back-end of his double-bonus free throw, visiting Beverly grabbed the rebound with just seconds left in the fourth quarter, trailing by a pair.
Like most of the game, it was a scramble. But Beverly was able to get the ball across half court and into Nick Cross’ hands with time for a contested, desperation three-pointer.
All in one motion Cross corralled a tough pass, raised up over his defender and knocked down the game-winning jumper with two seconds left as Beverly escaped with the 74-73 win.
“It felt like I had it,” explained Cross, who hadn’t hit a field goal in the second half before the game-winner. “I was just playing
defense. My team was scoring and then I just had to get it going.”
Panthers (12-5) head coach Scott Lewis was still sorting it all out after the game.
“It was crazy. It all happened so fast I’m not even really sure how it went,” he said. “For Nicky to bang that three-it was a big shot.”
Cross certainly had it going in the first half when he recorded 11 points. But it was big buckets from Jon Berchoff (17 points) in the paint that had Beverly out to an early lead. Lynn English was pressing and trapping all over the court so the Panthers knew to look to the guy right underneath the basket. This strategy worked in the second half too, only it was Zach Duguid (seven points) reaping the benefits.
“We knew they were trapping all over the court so we told (the kids) the guy underneath is going to be open because that’s the last option and they are sagging on everybody,” said Lewis.