Hailey Hallum called it a mistake. There was no mistaking the result after host Sachem North’s 36-33 win over Brentwood in a Suffolk League I game Thursday night.
The inbounder with 40 seconds left in a tie game, Hallum was supposed to find her younger sister, Kennadie, streaking to the basket. When that wasn’t available, she went to Jackie Mannix in the corner.
That was supposed to be Mannix’s shot, but Brentwood closed quickly. Hallum snuck back near the right block, and Mannix sent a bounce pass. Hallum, who had just one point after a rough first three quarters, swished the six-foot baseline jumper for a 35-33 lead lead with 36 seconds left.
That go-ahead basket, coupled with her block with 1.7 seconds remaining on a Brentwood fast break that could have tied the game, sealed the win.
After Brentwood coach Chris Harrison was assessed a double-technical for arguing that Hallum’s block was actually a shooting foul, Sachem North made 1 of 4 free throws to provide the final margin.
Sachem North coach James Mellor called Hallum’s block a “tremendous hustle” play with the game potentially on the line.
“It kind of evened it out,” Hallum said. “I know I wasn’t shooting in the beginning of the game, but shooting that last shot kind of just made me feel better and pumped up the rest of the team.”
Sachem North (7-6) needs one more win to earn a playoff spot, according to Mellor. The Arrows will play Commack, Sachem East and Patchogue-Medford to finish the season, against which they are a combined 1-2 this season. They beat Patchogue-Medford, 54-32, on Jan. 14.
After Tyleah Brown’s putback late in the third quarter erased a 26-20 deficit and put Brentwood (5-9) ahead by one, the Indians extended the lead to 30-26 when Brown (10 points) made 3 of 4 free throws in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
Sachem North stormed back with a three-point play from freshman Julia Turano (eight points) and two free throws from Corinne Amato for a 31-30 lead with 5:03 remaining.
Ashley Richards’ jumper from the right elbow with 2:30 remaining gave Brentwood a 33-31 lead, but Kennadie Hallum (16 points) tied the game with a mid-range jumper before her older sister hit the go-ahead bucket.
“As her sister, I’m very proud,” Kennadie Hallum said. “She needed that to get her confidence up.”
Now, Sachem North has its eyes on a playoff berth. Make no mistake about it.