At first, they didn't get the shot they liked. At last, they wound up liking the shot they got.
Bay Shore forward Jordan Allen snared a rebound off a missed jumper by Karl Hall and banked in a basket that beat the buzzer and Whitman, 49-47, last night in a gritty, tense Suffolk League II boys basketball game.
"I was going to flash high and hit a jumper to take it home," said Allen, who scored 15 points and made two other big plays in the fourth quarter. "But they overplayed me and Karl took the shot. I had to box out Myles Jones, who was on my hip. I thought he had the better position, but I was able to get it and score. I didn't think there was any time left on the clock."
There were 13 seconds left when Bryan Jimenez (14 points) sank a clutch three from the wing to tie it at 47 for Whitman (3-6, 1-3 League II). Bay Shore's Gary Williams, one of 10 Long Islanders with more than 2,000 career points who is in his first season coaching his alma mater, called timeout to set up a play. Or, more precisely, a plan.
"Break their press, reverse the ball, get them moving and get it to the wing or middle and attack the basket," Williams said. "I did not want a jumper. I wanted Brandon [Turner] to attack. It wasn't the shot I wanted, but it worked out."
Allen's winner came with about a second left and capped a furious final three minutes. Anthony (Ike) Aikhuele (16 points) made a steal and layup for a 44-41 Whitman lead. Bay Shore's Malik Jackson, who scored all of his game-high 17 points in the second half, including 11 straight during one third-quarter sequence, nailed a baseline jumper that cut it to 44-43 with 2:30 left.
Allen then made two consecutive big plays. First, he soared to block a layup attempt by Aikhuele, forcing a jump ball with possession to Bay Shore (6-3, 4-0). "I saw Spalding on the ball and went up - I was going to block it, tie him up or foul, but it wasn't going in the net," Allen said.
Seconds later, he drove for the go-ahead basket and the lead, which grew to 47-44 on Jackson's corner jumper. "Our team needed a spark," Jackson said of his third-quarter surge which included a couple of steals, a couple of layups, a pull-up jumper and a trey, all helping erase Whitman's 23-16 halftime lead. "Coach says take it strong to the basket."
By design or by happenstance, Bay Shore made its coach and all-time leading scorer look smart last night.