Time is winding down, it's a one-point game and the ball is in your hands. It's a basketball player's dream, and Tyler Shular made it seem like no big deal. "I just grabbed the ball and went to the hoop,'' the Brien McMahon senior said after his driving layup with 1 second left gave the Senators a thrilling 50-49 win over Stamford High in the Kuczo Tournament on Thursday night at Westhill High School.
Shular's basket came after Stamford's Anthony Davis missed the front end of a one-and-one with 14.5 seconds left. McMahon grabbed the rebound and pushed up the floor. Shular hesitated at the top of the key, and then drove the lane before finishing with a twisting floater. Time expired before Stamford could get off a desperation heave.
"Tyler is really a deep threat and one of the best 3-point shooters in the league,'' coach Mo Tomlin said. "He's been struggling so far this year, so I told him to mix it up a little bit."
Shular's basket capped an entertaining game between two teams that figure to be in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference playoffs in February. The Senators (5-0) led 48-44 after Tikari Smalls (12 points) scored with 2:15 left. Stamford (2-3) responded on a 3-pointer by Shyquino Dix with 2:02 left and a go-ahead hoop by Stamford's Danny Turkvan with 35 seconds left. Smalls missed two free throws with 27.2 seconds to go, and Shular missed a drive in the lane with 20 seconds to play. That set up the final wild sequence.
Andre McRae added 12 points for the Senators, and Maurice Tomlin added 10. McMahon escaped with a 4-point victory over Stamford earlier the season.
"(Stamford coach) Jim (Moriarty) is the best coach in the league, in my opinion,'' Tomlin said. "No matter how talented they're supposed to be, they'll be a tough team to beat. To beat them twice in the first few weeks feels good. To beat any team in this league twice is good because everybody is pretty good."
The Senators, who beat Bassick on Wednesday, are off to a promising start. "It's going to be a confidence builder to win a close game like this,'' Tomlin said. "I'll take it. It doesn't matter how we win by. As long as we win."
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