It wasn't supposed to be the play, but it worked as Kenny Hasbrouck's layup at the buzzer gave the No. 7 Cardinal Gibbons boys basketball team an electrifying 71-69 victory at No. 4 St. Frances last night.
The Panthers had tied the game at 69 with 3.3 seconds remaining on a put-back by Gordon Brown (13 points) off an intentionally missed free throw by Darnell Harris.
Harris led St. Frances (15-4) with 25 points, including 20 in the second half.
Having to go the length of the court, Gibbons (19-3) set up an inbounds play to go to the right side, from Pat Grace to Brett Foelber. Coach Bob Flynn hoped Foelber would then loft a pass to 6-foot-8 center Leon Williams somewhere in the paint.
With a wave of players flowing to the right - Foelber and Williams among them - Grace spotted Hasbrouck alone on the left and passed to him.
Hasbrouck, who had scored only two points after getting 10 in the first half, took off and laid it in, barely beating the buzzer.
"I was looking at the clock the whole time on my way there," said Hasbrouck.
"I thought it might be blocked, but they couldn't get to me quick enough. It feels good because in your story the last time, they said they're better than us and that we really can't beat them."
Hasbrouck, who pointed to the news article with the key quote circled, was the only Crusader to score in the final quarter other than Williams and Foelber. The latter pair combined for 16 of the team's 18 fourth-quarter points as they won their 10th game in the past 11.
Williams finished with a game high 27 points (13 in third period), 11 rebounds and three blocked shots, while Foelber had four three-pointers and 21 points to go along with five rebounds.
In their previous meeting with St. Frances at Gibbons, the Panthers pulled away in the last three minutes to win, 96-85. The two teams were on fire that night, with St. Frances shooting 56 percent and Gibbons shooting 53 percent, but just 4-for-15 in the last eight minutes.
The two teams shot close to the same percentages once again last night. Gibbons was 25-for-53 from the floor, and St. Frances was 25-for-54. Each team had seven three-pointers.
"They deserved to win, but our kids fought back," said St. Frances coach William Wells, whose team was only down by 34-32 at the half thanks to eight points and eight rebounds by Gus Chase.
Chase finished with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
St. Frances trailed 56-48 early in the last period before riding the shooting of Harris, who scored nine down the stretch.
"We finally got a close one," said Gibbons coach Bob Flynn.