Eamon McGowan said he’s felt plenty of confidence in his baby-hook shot recently.
On Thursday night, that confidence soared to an all-new level.
With the score tied and 2.5 seconds on the clock, McGowan caught an inbounds pass, turned left and knocked down a buzzer-beating, righthanded hook from just outside the right side of the paint to give South Side an exhilarating 63-61 win at Roslyn in a Nassau A-III boys basketball game.
“It was a new play called Red,” McGowan, who also recorded 20 points and 10 rebounds, said. “I was really confident with it, but I’ve been hitting the baby-hook shots lately. So I just threw it up there and hoped for a shot.”
McGowan fell to the hardwood on the shot and raised his arms triumphantly while watching the ball splash through the net before his teammates swarmed him in celebration. He said his first-ever buzzer-beater certainly felt good once it left his hand.
“Yeah it did,” McGowan said. “A nice swish.”
“We drew it up almost to what played out,” South Side coach Jerry D’Angelo said. “The hook shot wasn’t really part of it but the cuts and spacing were exactly what we wanted. We wanted the ball in Eamon’s hands and we felt confident that he could make the shot.”
Chris Thomas found Peter Pelligrini for an easy layup with 41 seconds left to give the Cyclones a 61-59 edge, but the Bulldogs knotted the score on a pair of free throws from Jacob Levy with 27.9 seconds to go. He led all scorers with 21.
South Side (2-0) retained possession following a jumpball with 2.5 seconds remaing before calling timeout and setting up McGowan for the dramatic winner.
“I saw Eamon do what he does best,” Matthew Goldstein, who added 10 points for South Side, said. “His hook shot is kind of his go-to move and he buried it.”
A 7-0 run gave the Cyclones a 53-44 lead with 5:09 to go, and the Bulldogs responded with six unanswered to pull within 53-50 at the 4:24 mark. After a continuous back-and-forth, Roslyn proceeded to even it up at 59 with 55 seconds left after a stolen inbounds led to a layup.
Roslyn led 27-25 at the half, but a 21-13 third quarter gave South Side a 46-40 advantage entering the fourth.
“We told them Roslyn would be here for a fight and they would play hard every possession,” D’Angelo said. “And they certainly did.”