Gill St. Bernard’s head coach Mergin Sina had no timeouts left after Jadin Collins hit a 15-foot jumper head-on to put Rutgers Prep up 65-64 with 10.5 seconds remaining.
And, he says, that was probably a good thing.
The No. 3 Knights got the ball down the floor and into the right corner for senior Nick Losada, the only returning player with any real experience from last year’s Somerset County Tournament Champion squad.
Losada – with a defender in his face – took the three, falling down. It hit no rim, and plenty of twine with 1.2 seconds to go.
By the time he got up off his rear end, time had expired, and Gill had fired the opening salvo in the teams’ two-game series this regular season, with the Knights and No. 2 Argonauts now in the same division.
It was a 67-65 win that is just another in a long line of wars between these two squads.
Gill (6-2, 4-0 in the Skyland Delaware Division) was led by senior Mario Castro’s 36 points, while Losada chipped in 17. Rutgers Prep (5-4, 2-1) was paced by Jadin Collins’ double-double of 31 points and 14 rebounds.
While Rutgers Prep scored the opening bucket, GSB went on a run to take a double-digit lead they wouldn’t relinquish until early in the third quarter. Gill got the lead back with 4:32 to go in the game on a pair of free throws, and then it went back-and-forth down the stretch.
The Knights had a 62-61 lead with 1:27 left when they got called for a travel. Jordan Atkins lost it in the lane the other way for Prep, but Gill fell on it, it was called a travel, and the Argonauts got the ball back. The Knights got a tie-up on John Kelly, but the arrow favored Prep, and they retained possession yet again.
Jadin Collins hit a runner for the Argos’ to put them up 63-62 with 32-seconds to play, then Castro got fouled with 18.6 to go and hit a pair of free throws to put the Knights up one.
Collins then drove the length of the floor to hit a jumper from the foul line with 10-seconds left, leaving Gill enough time to get down the floor and put the ball in the hands of its most-experienced Knight, who became the hero as he fell to the hardwood.
Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Gill St. Bernard’s head coach Mergin Sina about his team’s wild win over Rutgers Prep: