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Brentwood boys basketball falls on buzzer-beater by Boys & Girls

Khalil Brantley hit a three-pointer from near midcourt as time expired to lift Boys & Girls over Brentwood, 65-64, at the Shooting Stars Basketball Showcase at Long Island Lutheran on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.  Credit: Newsday / Owen O’Brien

It was something out of a movie script for the Brentwood boys basketball team, complete with a surreal ending.

With the Indians holding a two-point lead with less than 10 seconds remaining, Brentwood seemingly had Boys and Girls’ dynamic guard Khalil Brantley trapped in the backcourt with nowhere to turn. But Brantley escaped, crossed midcourt and created just enough space to launch a desperation three-pointer as time expired.

And to the bewilderment of Brentwood, the ball fell straight into the basket. Boys and Girls had defeated Brentwood, 65-64, at the sixth annual Shooting Stars Basketball Showcase at Long Island Lutheran Saturday afternoon to hand the Indians their first loss of the season.

“We battled so hard, it’s a tough pill to swallow but that’s what competitive basketball is,” coach Anthony Jimenez said. “The harder you work, the luckier you get, that’s it. We were in a position to win the game and so were they. They had the last possession and it was very much March-Madness like.”

The basket sent shockwaves throughout the LuHi gym, as Brantley and his teammates celebrated with fans and Brentwood was left wondering what happened.

“I didn’t think it was going to go in, but it went in,” said Brentwood guard/forward Jordan Riley, who had 32 points. “It’s just part of the game. Big-time players make big-time shots and Khalil is a good player.”

Brentwood (8-1) opened a 61-52 lead with 2:35 remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Kangaroos closed  with a 13-3 run. The Indians led 30-23 at halftime, before Brantley scored 26 of his 34 points in the second half.

“We had the lead, but we let them chip away at it,” said point guard Kenny Lazo, who finished with 12 points. “If we would have done our job before that shot, I feel like it never would have come down to that shot.”

But Jimenez hopes his team will learn from their first loss of the season. Brentwood, which lost in the state Class AA final last year, has lofty goals, and Jimenez thinks a loss can be a learning experience.

“It has to be about growth,” he said. “It always is. I don’t remember a time or a person in the world that doesn’t fail. Failure hurts, but failure means you put yourself out there and you can grow from failure more than you possibly can imagine.”

“We can learn that if we don’t want games to come down to that, we have to put them away early, we have to put them away in the fourth quarter,” Lazo said. “We have to close the game out. We can’t let one shot come down to determine if we win or lose.”

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