Clear 28° Good Afternoon
Clear 28° Good Afternoon
SportsHigh SchoolBoys Basketball

Frank Phelan’s free throws with no time left lift Floral Park over Sewanhaka

The No. 3 Knights advance to face No. 1 Garden City in the Nassau Class A championship.

Floral Park celebrates their 57-56 win over Sewanhaka

Floral Park celebrates their 57-56 win over Sewanhaka at their Nassau Class A boys basketball semifinal playoff game at Farmingdale State College on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Photo Credit: Peter Frutkoff

There was no time on the clock but there was plenty of time for Frank Phelan.

The Floral Park point guard was fouled on a three-point attempt at the buzzer and was awarded three free throws as the Knights trailed Sewanhaka by one point in the Nassau Class A semifinal.

After missing the first shot, Phelan calmly sank the next two as Floral Park advances to the final after a 57-56 win at Farmingdale State on Wednesday night.

No. 3 Floral Park (20-2) faces No. 1 Garden City (21-0) at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Nassau Class A championship at Farmingdale State. No. 2 Sewanhaka ends its season at 19-3.

Phelan had rolled his right ankle at practice recently according to coach Sean Boyle. Phelan re-aggravated the injury midway through the fourth quarter, prompting two different tape jobs in the closing minutes of a thriller.

“I was going to finish that game no matter what,” said Phelan, who had a game-high 26 points and was overcome with emotion after the game. “I was going to be there for my team.”

He was in every sense of the word. A driving layup by Jazier Whitely (11 points) gave Sewanhaka a 56-52 lead with under 30 seconds remaining.

Sewanhaka — led by Jayden Boyd’s 13 points — had the possession arrow and was awarded the ball after a tie-up. But the Indians missed a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left. The Indians were 6 of 20 for the game from the foul line.

Phelan hit his second three-pointer of the game with 3.8 seconds remaining to get Floral Park within a point at 56-55. Sewanhaka inbounded the ball, but Phelan made a leaping stab and stole the pass.

He quickly dribbled just to the right of the top of the key outside the three-point arc and was fouled at the buzzer in the act of shooting.

Because the horn had sounded, the red light on the backboard was still on as Phelan missed his first attempt. Boyle asked the officials if the light could be turned off. (“I had to make an excuse for the miss,” Phelan joked later.) That was only possible if time was put back on the clock — which it was — showing 0.1 seconds.

Phelan hit his second attempt to tie the score at 56 and Sewanhaka coach Jay Allen called a timeout. Still, it didn’t appear to bother Phelan.

“Even after he missed the first,” Boyle said, “I knew he was making both.”

With just enough time to spare.

More high schools