Tied with 25 seconds left in regulation, Eastport-South Manor’s Casey Travers took advantage of the moment.
With the ball in the paint, she skied for the basket surrounded by a swarm of West Babylon defenders. Travers, a sophomore, put the ball high off the glass and watched as it went through the net to give the Eastport-South Manor girls basketball team a lead it held through the waning moments.
The host Eagles (5-6) took one final shot at the buzzer, but the attempt bounced off the rim and allowed the Sharks (6-5) to travel home as 39-37 winners in Suffolk IV Tuesday night.
“I was confident,” Travers said. “I knew I could make it. I had to make it.”
With a win in the Sharks’ next league game on Thursday at home against East Islip, Eastport-South Manor coach Steve Giacolone said that his team will clinch a playoff berth.
A win on Thursday would also be Giacolone’s 300th win as ESM coach, making him the first coach in Long Island history to win 300 games in two sports, according to Newsday records. He also won 300-plus games as ESM’s softball coach.
The Sharks trailed 25-20 at halftime but cut the deficit to two points by the end of the third. ESM scored the first three points of the fourth quarter and took a 33-32 lead with 4:43 left in regulation.
The sides traded baskets until Travers put her team ahead with only seconds remaining. She did what she had to do.