GLOUCESTER-- Marblehead boys basketball coach Wayne Hanscom had a feeling Friday’s tilt with Gloucester at the Benjamin A. Smith Fieldhouse would come down to the final possession.
Hansom’s Marblehead team had the lead for all but nine seconds of Friday’s tilt, but a furious Gloucester comeback in the fourth quarter saw the two young teams take it to the final minute of play. And Hanscom’s feeling would end up being true, as the game was decided on the final possession.
Gloucester thought it had a win secured when senior captain Jason Vizena sunk a layup after a perfect pass from point guard Jeff Oliveria to give Gloucester its first lead of the game at 45-44 with 10 seconds to go.
Marblehead called a timeout to regroup and inbounded the ball to Matt Millet, the team’s leading scorer who was struggling from the field in the second half having missed six straight shots up until that point. Millet, however, would come through when his team needed him most draining an off balance runner off of a drive to his left with .6 seconds to play to lift the Magicians to a 46-45 win.
“I didn’t care how much we were up by, I knew it was coming down to the final possession because it’s always a tough game in Gloucester,” Hanscom said. “Matt’s a lefty so he drove to his left and put the shot up, we were fortunate that he hit it. Gloucester had a nice comeback but we outlasted them.”
Gloucester was playing catchup from the start thanks to an abysmal shooting effort in the first half where the team hit just four of 29 shots from the field. The Fishermen trailed by as much as 13 early (18-5) and by as much as 10 points in the fourth quarter (40-30). Gloucester won the rebounding and turnover battle but that off night shooting made it a moot point.