But for a Buzzer Beater…

Submitted by: Christy Cain - December 31st, 2014


Williams_0130By Christy Cain

December 30, 2014

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) Everybody knows that in sports, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. At times you outplay your opponents and win. Other times your opponents outplay you, and you lose. But the hardest reality to accept is that sometimes your team can play an all-around solid, fundamental game and one lucky, last second shot can mess it all up.

That was certainly the case tonight in Murchison Gymnasium as the Westmont Warriors took on the Victoria (B.C) Vikes.

Coming out of halftime with a 32-27 lead, the Warriors seemed to step on the gas to expand the point gap a bit further. Two back-to-back three pointers by Britton Williams and Nate Marsing put the men’s team up by 11 points. Westmont was getting into a much needed rhythm on the court. This was the largest point differential of the game, and sadly would not last too long.

As the final 20 minutes on the clock wound down, so did the point margin between teams. The Vikes were continually working the ball down low to Chris McLaughlin, their 6-10 senior powerhouse in the paint. With McLaughlin going six for six from the field and one for one from the free throw line in the second half, he was a key factor in regaining control of the game.

The Warriors played the Vikes point for point in the final minutes—always keeping themselves within four points of a tie. With 25 seconds remaining, freshman Jerry Karczewski drained a three pointer from the left baseline to make it 61-62. Then a free throw made by Victoria’s Marcus Tibbs gave the Vikes a two point advantage.

With four seconds to go, Britton Williams pulled up in the paint and made a jumper to tie 63-63, while also drawing a foul. After a seemingly endless timeout, Williams stepped up to the line and as everyone in the gym held their breath, he made a nothing but net shot to put the Warriors up 64-63.

This story takes a drastic and unexpected turn of events when the Vikes inbound the ball to Marcus Tibbs who takes three quick dribbles, barely crosses half court and with one second to go, lobs the ball perfectly up into the air… and right into the basket to give the Vikes a sudden and shocking 66-64 win.

“Sometimes things are unfortunate,” opens head coach john Moore. “That was a very, very unlikely shot by Victoria after Britton Williams made a clutch basket and an even greater clutch free throw. I was really proud of Britton’s finishing touch there. For him to have to sit through a timeout and think about taking that shot, yet still making it nothing but net on the ball is a real sign of an incredibly clutch and reliable performer”

Williams finished with five points this evening, three of which came in the last five seconds of the game.

“I think where we lost the game was when we went up by 11 at the start of the second half. It looked like we were in great shape. But we had a couple turnovers in a row, and couldn’t get hands up on three point shooters. In the second half, our four three point shots fell right in the beginning and at that point I thought that momentum had swung our direction. We just couldn’t keep the momentum going forward,” continued Moore.

Despite the loss, many Westmont players walked away with impressive statistical performances. The men were led by Cory Blau who earned a team high of 15 points in his 29 minutes of action. Daniel Carlin was next in line with 12 points, six rebounds and a pat on the back for impressively defending McLaughlin who had two inches in height and at least 25 pounds on him. Freshman Jerry Karczewski closed out his night being four for seven from the field, with a total of 10 points and two assists.

Upon the conclusion of the 39th Tom Byron Classic, both Daniel Carlin and Cory Blau were named to the All-Tournament team.

“Those are the two guys who deserved it. Cory and Daniel both had nice tournaments. I think they would trade All-Tournament Team for a win tonight, but it is still a great honor that they both deserve. Jerry really made some key shots for us tonight as well. There was one three in the corner that cut their lead from four points to one point, which made it a one possession game. That’s really fun to see from a freshman” closed out John Moore.

The Warriors (7-6, 2-1 GSAC) will take the court at Murchison Gymnasium again on Friday, January 2 at 12 p.m. against Pacific Union.



Tom Bryon All Tournament Team:

Cory Blau, Westmont

Daniel Carlin, Westmont

Chris McGlaughlin, Victoria

Jordan Pryor, Westminster

Kenny Woodard, Westminster