One second remained in the Long Island Class A championship game and Valley Stream South had a three-point lead when Josh Robinson decided to jump straight up and contest the potential tying shot.
Robinson, a 6-2 sophomore, didn't have much of a choice. Bayport-Blue Point guard Tim Darby already had made three treys, and Robinson knew that if he had a clean look on this attempt, there was a strong possibility the game would be headed to overtime.
Robinson said he hoped to block the shot cleanly -- and he did.
Robinson got all ball when he denied Darby's three-point attempt from the top of the key. After the block, Robinson grabbed the ball with six-tenths of a second left to secure Valley Stream South's 61-58 win at Farmingdale State and the Falcons' first trip to the state Final Four.
"It was nerve-wracking while I was up there, especially with my whole body moving," Robinson said, "but I just hoped I would get my hand on the ball. This feels unbelievable for me."
The Falcons (18-4) will play Saturday night's Greece Athena-Williamsville South winner in a state semifinal at 9 a.m. Saturday at Glens Falls Civic Center.
Valley Stream South led 61-53 with 30 seconds left before Bayport-Blue Point (17-5) battled back. Mike Darby, Tim's younger brother, made a three-pointer with 11 seconds left. After a steal by the Phantoms, George Riefenstahl's two free throws cut the deficit to three with 9.7 seconds to play.
The Phantoms forced another turnover on the ensuing inbounds play, but Robinson's block denied the comeback bid.
"There was just pure nervousness in those final seconds, but I'm just happy we pulled out the win," Falcons guard Tahj Wilson said. "After that block, we were able to take a deep breath."
And then clutch a championship plaque.
Fitting the description of a true championship team, the Falcons received big contributions from role players Wilson (12 points), Murilo Pereira (10 points) and Jaremi Hernandez, who had several assists and drew two charges in the fourth quarter that preceded Valley Stream South baskets.
They needed that input because the Falcons trailed 53-51 with three minutes left. That's when Dana King, with a tear in his eye, looked at Wilson.
"That's when I knew," Wilson said, "that me, Murilo Pereira, Jaremi Hernandez and Josh Robinson had to come through."
Robinson's three-point play made it 54-53 with 2:37 left and gave the Falcons a lead they never relinquished. Wilson scored five of the next seven points with King, the team's leading scorer, adding the other two. King had 18 points but was held to four in the fourth quarter after he became more of a facilitator because he was being double-teamed.
"Wilson scored some critical baskets after Dana was able to drive to the basket," Valley Stream South coach Matt Johnsen said, "and that was pretty much the end of the story."
Well, at least it would have been. Johnsen was grateful for Robinson's block because otherwise, the coach said, a different story might have been told.
"He can play defense," Johnsen said. "He did the right thing, put his hands up, blocked the shot and sent us to the state tournament for the first time."