Buzzer beater ends Colts’ season

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Chris Delaney of Christian Brothers Academy, Middletown, puts a shot up against Seton Hall Prep in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Parochial A championship game on Saturday in the Dunn Center in Elizabeth.



Staff Writer

ELIZABETH — Tim Begley got mad, and then he got the Christian Brothers Academy basketball team even.

The junior from Freehold Township did just about everything a basketball player can do as he helped bring the Middletown school’s basketball team back to tie scores with Seton Hall Prep three different times in the fourth quarter of the Saturday’s New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Parochial A championship game.

Unfortunately, all of Begley’s heroics, and those of his teammates, were not enough as the Pirates’ Tyrone Barley sank a seven-footer as he was falling down and the buzzer was sounding to give Seton Hall a 53-51 win at the Dunn Center in Elizabeth.

Begley grabbed six rebounds (three offensive), blocked two shots, scored 11 points, handed out an assist and made a steal in the final eight minutes as he brought the Colts back from a 39-33 deficit at the start of the final period.

The Pirates got the first score of the half when Mark Curry hit one of two free throws, but the Colts, sparked by a Begley three, went on a 7-0 run to tie the score at 40-40.

"I got fired up; Curry got me mad," Begley said of his fourth-quarter outburst. "He started talking a little bit. I wanted it more than he did."

And Begley and his Colts teammates nearly got it.

After Curry sank a basket to put the Pirates up 42-40, with 5:37 remaining, the Colts lost the ball on their next trip down the floor, but Begley got a steal to get the ball back for CBA.

He evened the score at 4:27 with a drive down the lane, but a pair of free throws by Barley and a three and a two by Seton Hall’s Robert Sullivan, the last with 3:14 on the clock, pushed the Pirates advantage back to 49-42.

Pat Lynch, who also had a very big fourth quarter, made what could have been the play of the game had the Colts managed to pull out the victory.

After a CBA miss, Curry grabbed the ball and turned to go up court, but Lynch held his ground and took a charge under his own basket.

The foul was Curry’s fifth and he departed the game with 2:57 remaining.

With the post presence for the Pirates thinned, Lynch worked inside for a basket, but Barley got the points right back for the Pirates.

With 1:43 remaining, Lynch found Mike Skrocki for a three to cut the lead to 51-47 and 24 seconds later Lynch hit one of two free throws to cut the lead to 51-48.

The Pirates misfired on their next trip down the floor and Skrocki, who finished with 12 points and eight boards, grabbed the rebound.

The Colts also missed their first shot at the hoop, but Begley was there to clean the glass and he got fouled sinking the put back with 1:06 remaining. The subsequent free throw tied the game at 51-51.

The Pirates had the ball and worked it around to Sullivan, who scored a career-high 21 points as time was winding down, but CBA closed his lane and he had to dish the ball to freshman Jamar Nutter on the perimeter.

Nutter’s shot was wildly off the mark, but Barley was able to corral the ball and heave it up. It went through the net as time expired with Barley flat on his back.

"We got what we wanted," CBA Coach Ed Wicelinski said. "We stopped 23 (Sullivan) from penetrating. We thought he was going to penetrate and try to kick down low. We didn’t want 33 (Barley) shooting the ball in that possession so you’re going to give something up. We have to protect the middle because they’re so quick; they kicked (the ball) out and that was the shot we were going to give. We just didn’t rebound."

Indeed, both Lynch and Chris Delaney got their hands on the ball but couldn’t control it.

"I’m just upset that we lost it at the end there," Begley said. "Five more minutes we’d have been fine. We had all the momentum in the world if we could have just grabbed that board. It was right there for us, it just got away."

CBA got off to a great start in the game, opening with a 10-2 run as Skrocki and Jason Krayl both hit threes. The Pirates were able to cut the margin to 12-8 by the end of the period.

The half ended with the Colts maintaining control as they stretched the lead to 25-18 with Krayl scoring seven of his 15 points in the quarter.

After a three from Krayl to open the second half, Seton Hall turned up its defense and went on 10-2 run to tie the game at 30-30 on a Curry put back with 3:59 left in the period.

After a Lynch three (off a feed from Krayl) 22 seconds later, the Pirates closed the quarter on a 9-0 run.

"I’ve told anybody who wanted to listen that one of the differences between them and us, I think, is that we play very good defense and they play very good defense and they have one more notch that they can go to and we can’t," Wicelinski said. "We’re playing full out all the time and that’s what happened in the second half. They were able to jump just that one more notch and it resulted in some bad passes, and I don’t think that was us I think that was their defense."