Ladies and Gentlemen, say hello to what is absolutely, positively the most incredible, bizarre outrageous buzzer beater of 2013, at any level.
The video you see above comes from Sunday’s New York Section I Class AA boys basketball championship game between New Rochelle (N.Y.) High and Mt. Vernon (N.Y.) High. As described more thoroughly by Newsday and Patch, Mt. Vernon led the sectional title game by two points with just 2.9 seconds remaining. Game over, right? Anything but.
With New Rochelle holding possession on the opposite side of the court from where they wanted to be, the team enlisted the school’s star quarterback, Khalil Edney (he plays hoops too, obviously) to send the ball upcourt as deep and accurately as possible. Edney got the ball up to midcourt, but it landed in the wrong set of hands, with Mt. Vernon’s Jalen David coming up with the ball.
What happened next defies all logic. David tossed the ball up in the air. The goal was both simple and obvious: He was trying to kill off the remainder of the game without giving New Rochelle the chance to foul and get a final shot.
Yet the strategy backfired spectacularly, because time never ran out. Instead, the toss arched to the left and forward, with the ball eventually landing right in Edney’s hands just behind midcourt with 0.1 seconds remaining. Given an instant chance to redeem himself, Edney didn’t disappoint, drilling a 55-foot shot to hand New Rochelle the most unlikely of 61-60 victories in memory.
"I was just praying for it to go in," Edney told MSGVarsity, which was televising the game. "That's one of them last-second things you throw up, and it goes in."
The victory earns New Rochelle a spot in the regional semifinals at the expense of a stunned Mt. Vernon, whose fans thought that the final shot might not have counted as they felt time had expired. It hadn’t, as referees conferred and agreed, and the wild celebration by the New Rochelle Huguenots and their fans served as the coda to the wildest finish in basketball during the 2012-13 season, if not one of the most amazing of all time. As noted by the inimitable Jeff Eisenberg of Prep Rally's brotherly college basketball blog The Dagger, one of the only other finishes which even compares was the 1999 matchup between USC and Oregon, where the Trojans (and for that matter, Adam Spanich by himself) somehow scored 6 points in 2.8 seconds in a remarkable comeback.
No matter what happens for the rest of New Rochelle’s tournament run, Edney’s fame is virtually assured, as is the stunned shock facing Mt. Vernon and its fans after an ending even Hollywood would have deemed far fetched.