The shot went down with a statement. Harborfields’ boys basketball would not wilt. With a little more than one second remaining in the first half, junior guard Pat Williamson drilled a three-pointer and announced that, even in a hostile cross-county environment, his squad would not be stopped.
In the end, Harborfields left Glen Cove 65-57 winners Tuesday over the home team. They were tested all throughout the second half, with fans filling the gym with noise every time the visitors stepped to the line, but nothing would deter the Tornadoes in their non-league opener.
“We loved the atmosphere,” Williamson, who scored 11 points, said of the raucous gym. “It’s great to play in. It was a great game and a great win.”
Williamson’s three capped a 13-5 run in the final 5:02 of the first half.
“It definitely felt good to hit it,” Williamson said. “I was glad that I was the guy that they wanted to shoot the ball. It definitely gave us momentum going into the second half.”
The three was a byproduct of a cavalcade of screens — a play that didn’t work earlier in the half, but resulted in a bucket at the most opportune time.
“Coach called the play and, at first it didn’t work, then I got the ball with time left and I just let it go,” Williamson said.
Tim Carr Jr. led Harborfields with 16 points in what was a fairly balanced offensive attack. The Tornadoes had four players in double figures. Ryan Shanghie and Ryan Rittberger both had 10 points. Glen Cove’s Michael Vaughan led all scorers with 27.
The residual effects of Williamson’s three helped Harborfields extend their lead. They used a 12-5 run to build a 47-33 lead midway through the third quarter.
“It was just as good as a buzzer beater,” Carr said of Williamson’s tone-setting three. “It sent us into the locker room with a lot of spirit, and it really brought us together at halftime to really push for that 12-5 run . . . We wanted to end the game early,”
But Glen Cove wasn’t game on that bargain. They sent Harborfields to the line early and often, 42 times in total, and dared the visitors to put the game away with freebies. Nineteen made foul shots, while not a fantastic percentage, was enough to quell any comeback.
“We’ve been training for four weeks now, getting ready for this game,” Carr said. “Coach [Darin Ford] keeps telling us it’s a building year, not a rebuilding year. We’re building up from last year.”