Garrido’s buzzer-beater lifts Tigers
Northwestern’s Nick Henry (14) goes up for a shot against Wilson. NANCY SCHOLZ/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
There’s a myth out there that cats have nine lives. And did you know the tiger is the largest cat species in the world?
On Thursday night, the Tigers of Northwestern certainly seemed to get their fair share of second chances, or lives, if you will.
It took two overtime sessions, but Northwestern — and its Colonial League postseason hopes — finally came back to life.
Luke Hallman took an inbound pass with 0.7 seconds remaining and found a wide open Andres Garrido, who scored the game-winning shot as time expired to upset Wilson, 62-60.
“I just knew that when I touched it I had to throw it up there,” Garrido said. “It went in and it felt really good.”
“Luke [Hallman] is good as the inbound person on that because he is patient,” head coach Billy Hallman said. “They like to chase Sean [McCann] out to the corner, and with 0.7 seconds, he’s not going to have time to get it off. So, Luke was looking for [Garrido] the whole time.”
But before that, it seemed everything went against the host Tigers. Hallman missed four free throws in the final 10 seconds of that second overtime period that would have put Northwestern in front. The final two came with 1.7 seconds left, leaving Wilson with 0.7 left on the clock for a full-court out-of-bounds heave to try and muster up a shot.
Instead, the Warrior inbound pass hit a baseball net hanging above the court, giving the ball back to Northwestern under its own basket. The rest was history.
“Baseball comes in for Sundays,” Hallman said. “So I’m going to thank the baseball coach for hanging that net.
Other than scoring the first bucket of the game for a 2-0 lead, Wilson didn’t regain the lead until early in the third quarter when Charbel Ghaleb secured a rebound and putback for a 32-31 advantage. The teams would exchange leads 13 more times throughout the rest of the game.
Northwestern actually held the game’s largest lead at 11 points early in the second quarter when Derek Hebelka found Deven Bollinger for two of his team-high 17 points. The Warriors, however, ended the frame on a 13-5 spurt behind the strong inside play of Jahid Range, who led all scorers with 20 points.
Down by one in the final minutes, the Tigers still showed they had more life. McCann drilled a 3-pointer with 1:07 left in regulation to put Northwestern ahead 51-49, and it would grow its lead to five points moments later.
But Wilson would finish the fourth on a 5-0 run, including the game-tying bucket from Ghaleb as time expired to force overtime.
Northwestern’s Nick Henry would come through with another clutch 3-pointer for the Tigers that tied the game at 59 with 1:28 remaining in the first overtime, a score that would hold and force another overtime period.
“This was a big one,” Garrido said. “We needed this win, and I feel we need to win the rest of our games. Our coach put this as our first league playoff game.”
STILL ALIVE ... Northwestern is still fighting for one of the six playoff spots in the Colonial League tournament. The Tigers are currently a game back from the No. 6 seed, currently held by Notre Dame-Green Pond. Northwestern defeated Notre Dame last week. “We don’t have any nights off; that really rings true this year,” Hallman said. “The kids that we have, they work so hard. The Bangor game was huge. We haven’t won up there in almost 10 or 11 years. And then we go to Notre Dame, which is never an easy place to play, and we shot the lights out there.”
WHO’S UP NEXT? ... The Tigers return to the court tonight when they host Northern Lehigh.
Glovas 2-1-2-6, Ghaleb 8-0-3-17, McKinney 0-4-6-4, Range 8-4-4-20, Brown 4-0-0-8, Stem 0-0-0-0, Sigue 2-0-1-5. TOTALS: 24-9-16-60.
Henry 4-2-2-12, Hallman 1-3-8-5, Hebelka 1-0-0-2, McCann 3-1-2-9, Bollinger 8-1-4-17, Castrine 2-1-2-6, Garrido 5-0-0-11, Pleban 0-0-0-0, Zack 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 24-8-18-62.
Wilson 11 13 19 11 5 1 - 60
Northwestern 19 9 17 10 5 3 - 62
Three-pointers: Northwestern - Henry 2, McCann 2, Castrine 1, Garrido 1; Wilson - Glovas 1, Ghaleb 1, Sigue 1.