As Malden Catholic junior Bo Moody hurled the ball 75 feet towards the rim with just 0.4 seconds left, Xaverian head coach Ryan Sheehan could only hope that the ball would not go in.
His hopes were rewarded, as the effort rimmed out and the Hawks escaped with a 60-59 upset win over third-ranked Malden Catholic (13-2).
“Your heart stands still there for a second,” he said. “And it ends up rimming out and we ended up winning the game. Our kids were great, they battled.”
In a back-and-forth battle that came down to the last minute, the Hawks squeaked out a Catholic Conference win at home after junior wing Lorenzo Carrera took the lead with a layup with 30 seconds to go. Carrera had a defender closing out on him and took it to the rim, getting his eighth and ninth points but arguably the two most important ones.
The action was back-and-forth, as the Lancers showed up early and took a 20-13 lead after the first, but Xaverian responded to head into halftime up 36-30.
“In typical Malden Catholic fashion, they turned up the pressure [in the third],” Sheehan said. “We didn’t necessarily handle it well.”
The Lancers went on a run and had a five-point lead entering the fourth, but Xaverian senior Dylan Benoit responded with clutch buckets late, as he ended up finishing with a team-high 20 points. Senior forward Danny Edgehill chipped in with 12 points as well.
After the Hawks lost by 19 at Malden Catholic on Jan. 13, Sheehan wanted to make sure their defensive effort was improved, and it paid off, as they held Malden Catholic to under 60 points for the first time all season.
“I told the kids to just believe . . . anybody can beat anybody,” Sheehan said. “Just trust each other to do the right thing.”
Eamonn Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @eamonn_ryan41.