It was a move head coach Anthony Melesurgo says he taught senior guard Quadir Harrell, on a play “Q” says he and senior forward Donovan Nwenyi have done for years, going back to their playground days.
And it helped second-seed Bound Brook escape by the hair of its chinny-chin-chin in the Central Jersey Group 2 semifinals, with a 50-49 victory over 6th-seed Raritan.
After the Rockets missed two free throws with 13.1 seconds to go, they scored on a backdoor feed into the paint to go up 49-48 with exactly eight seconds left.
With no timeouts, Donovan Newnyi took the inbounds pass along the far sideline going left to right, and found Harrell in the forecourt, who drove in from the right baseline, split two defenders, and got the bucket with 1.8 seconds to go, plus the foul, as he went hard to the floor and ended up in a seated position along the baseline padding, where he could get a wide angle view of the hometown fans losing their collective minds over the play.
Harrell then bricked the free throw off the front iron intentionally so as not to let Raritan get a good look on a full-court inbound after a make. Bound Brook got the rebounds, time expired, and the Crusader student section mobbed their classmates in uniform.
It was the last game for Harrell, Nwenyi, and fellow senior Bryce Cobb, and what a way to go out. But their season’s not over. The Crusaders (22-4) will travel to top-seed Rumson-Fair Haven (20-3)Monday night for a 6:30 pm tip of the Central Jersey Group 2 title game. The Bulldogs were 75-56 winners over 4th-seed Holmdel Friday night.
Click below for postgame reaction from Bound Brook’s CJ2 semifinal win: