Calendars haven't been flipped over to March yet, but a delirious Oyster Bay contingent caught the madness last night in the SUNY-Old Westbury gymnasium. And for good reason.
Josh Grant, a senior center who had never attempted a three-pointer in his career, nailed a 35-footer at the buzzer to give the third-seeded Baymen a 36-35 victory over No. 2 Locust Valley in a Nassau Class B boys basketball semifinal. They'll face top-seeded Malverne in the final at 8:15 p.m. Saturday at C.W. Post.
"The crowd was running onto the court and going nuts," coach Jimmy Frauenberg said of the scene after the shot dropped. "It looked like what you see on ESPN when the No. 1 seed gets upset in college basketball."
Locust Valley led by two points with six seconds left and had three fouls to give. It used them all, slowing Oyster Bay's advancement of the ball. After the stop-and-starts, the Baymen were left with 0.9 seconds on the clock.
The play was designed to go to leading scorer Joe Carbone, coming off a screen. "But two defenders went after him," assistant coach Brian Boyle said. Grant, the screener, took advantage of the opening, received the inbounds pass from Eric Seaman and heaved up a prayer. The ball doinked off the front rim, bounced high and fell in.
"Of all the people on the court, he's the last one you'd have expected to hit a three," said Frauenberg, whose team improved to 12-7.
Carbone scored eight points and Grant had seven points and nine rebounds to lead Oyster Bay. Thomas Sheehan scored 12 points and Will Brennan had 11 for Locust Valley.
Malverne 68, Cold Spring Harbor 37: DaShawn Moorer had 24 points and 11 rebounds and Cory Alexander added 11 points and eight assists as No. 1 Malverne built an early lead against No. 4 CSH in the other Nassau Class B semifinal at SUNY-Old Westbury. The Mules (13-5), who won their seventh straight game, also got 11 points from Xavier Bernard in a 23-10 first quarter. Malverne will try for a sixth straight county title when it plays No. 3 Oyster Bay in the final Saturday. CSH finished 7-11.