Reason number 3,142 that living in the Internet age is awesome:
Whereas back in the day, basketball fans were largely privy only to buzzer beaters during March Madness, NBA games and a random hand-filmed highlight from one of their local high school teams on the evening news, thanks to the Internet in 2013, we now have immediate access to buzzer beaters at every level of organized basketball, from high-definition games on NBA League Pass to grainy, shaky, bliss-soaked hand-held iPhone footage of CYO League games.
Let's hear it for the tag-team combination of YouTube and Twitter, ladies and gentlemen!
My go-to site for such content is TheBigLead.com (Somehow, their founder Jason McIntyre seems to get ahold of this footage before anybody else, almost as if he has an exclusive agreement with every amateur videographer in amateur and pro sports.), and that's where this incredible piece of footage comes from.
First, let me say that on Saturday, TheBigLead.com ran this video below of a state championship game in Indiana between McCutcheon and Logansport:
Pretty amazing stuff, right? Especially when you consider that the winning team had just coughed up a 16-point lead. I mean, as a sports fan you see an ending like that once every few years. Incredible.
But wait! Did I say once every few years? I meant once every few hours, because the ending of this New York state sectional game between Mount Vernon and New Rochelle might top them all and it came to light just hours after the Indiana ending.
Setting the scene, Mount Vernon is holding on by the skin of their teeth, sustaining a 9-1 run by New Rochelle late in the game to cling to a 60-58 lead with 2.9 seconds left. New Rochelle's Khalil Edney (remember that name, kids!) is inbounding from underneath his own hoop.
That's where we pick it up:
I mean, WOW.
A quick mini-Zapruder on some of the high points:
0:28 -- Edney throws an errant pass to around midcourt, where an unnamed Mount Vernon player intercepts it with around 2.1 seconds left on the clock. You know how with advanced metrics and thousands of games worth of data, certain statistical Web sites can tell you the exact percentage chance a team has of winning a game at a given moment?
Well, I would say even before the inbounds pass that New Rochelle's chances of winning are in about the third or fourth place to the right of the decimal. Now, if you could boil the data down to the exact instant that the Mount Vernon interceptor touches the ball, what are New Rochelle's chances at that exact moment? Clock running with two seconds left, other team in possession of the ball at midcourt, down two points....the chances of a New Rochelle victory are what? A billion jillion millionth of a percent?
0:29 -- The unnamed Mount Vernon interceptor (unfortunately for him) does literally the only thing that can lead to a New Rochelle victory -- he relinquishes possession of the ball. Seriously, if he holds onto the ball, either the clock runs out or he gets fouled (two made free throws makes it a four-point game with less than a second left). Hell, even if he threw the ball away but just launched it toward the ceiling, that would've been enough.
But instead he lazily tossed it back toward New Rochelle's basket, like a game of hand tennis, and Edney nabbed it (credit to Edney for the hustle, not enough has been made of that) and made history.
0:30 -- Announcer: "Mount Vernon's gonna hold on to win." I mean literally the only one who hadn't given up on the game was Edney. But even after the steal he still has to make...
0:31 -- ....A MIRACLE SHOT!!!
0:35 -- At first, amidst a chaotic storming of the floor by fans presumably from both teams, one of the referees waves off the basket (and catches an elbow to the head from a stray fan in the process). This results in maybe one of the most bizarre scenes in the four decades that I've been watching basketball...
0:54 -- Both teams are celebrating!! Seriously, Mount Vernon is buying the word of that one ref who said "no basket" while the New Rochelle players are in full-on "just won the World Series dog pile" mode. I've never seen anything like that. You almost get the sense that Mount Vernon was trying to sell the referees into not conferring about whether the shot was launched in time. "Look at us refs...we are celebrating! Celebrating because the shot was CLEARLY let go after the buzzer! Don't you agree?!? You know you do!! YAYAYAYAYYYY!!!!"
1:20 -- The referees are huddling, and keep in mind, since this is high school ball, that they don't have the benefit of replay review (even though the game is clearly televised with enough equipment to grab multiple angles of the shot and the red lights on the backboards). So unless one or more of them were paying extra close attention to Edney's heave in conjunction with the buzzer, they are literally guessing at this call.
1:28 -- Senior official calls the basket good, which from a drama standpoint you almost have to do, right? I mean, squelch one of the most incredible endings to a basketball game in the history of the sport because you're not sure if the player released it a tenth of a second before or after the buzzer? Sometimes a sense for the dramatic, especially when you're guessing anyway, has to take over. Right call.
1:30 -- That said, these refs made sure to get off the floor faster than Earl Hebner running out the back of the arena after the Montreal Screwjob. Smart move.
2:46 -- And as it turns out, the officials got it right. The replay shows that Edney incredibly released the ball with 0.1 still on the clock. Amazing.
I'd say there's no way we can top that, but with the access the Internet gives us, there's probably a YouTube link of a fifth grade rec league buzzer beater waiting on Twitter for all of us as I type this.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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