The best game of the Slam Dunk so far? Try Somers’ raucous fourth quarter comeback from 15 down to upset Iona Prep. Conor Cousin won it at the buzzer and John Decker scored the second-most points of any player in Slam Dunk history.
Neither of them will ever forget this game. Trust me. Decker’s 39 points left him behind only Stepinac’s Tony Taylor, who had 54 in a classic triple OT, 88-86 loss to Briarcliff in the 2007 seventh-place game. He also assisted on the Cousin winner.
Here are the details on a wild, wild game:
WHITE PLAINS — Camped out in the corner awaiting the shot of his dreams, Conor Cousin and his team just wanted one chance. They received the perfect rebound, pass and shot, and Cousin’s 3-pointer at the buzzer stunned Iona Prep 59-58 in Thursday’s Slam Dunk Tournament challenge game at the County Center.
Cousin, a junior, scored his only points of the game on three 3-pointers in the final 1:06 to cap the Tuskers’ 15-point fourth quarter comeback.
“Game-winner at the County Center? It doesn’t get any better than that,” he said.
The shot was assisted by senior John Decker, who caught an outlet from Max Parks with 4.6 seconds remaining and threw a long pass ahead to Cousin in the left corner. The guard hit all three of his shots from the same spot.
“I saw John was double covered at midcourt,” said Cousin, who all three of his 3s from the same spot on the floor. “I knew he was going to try to get the ball to the corner. Once I saw him get it to the corner, I just wanted a shot at the 3.”
He got it – and made it – giving Somers an upset win few had predicted.
“No one in the world expected us to win this game,” Decker said. “No one even knows who Somers is, so it was just a great feeling to come out here and get the win.”
Decker earned MVP honors, scoring 39 points, the second-highest total in Slam Dunk history. He had all 17 of his team’s points in the first half. Josh Riger finally hit a basket 2:30 into the third quarter to spark Decker’s supporting cast, which chipped in 20 points during the comeback.
“I’ve never gotten any recognition in my life,” said Decker, who went 13 for 25 and 6 for 13 from 3. “I’ve always been that slow kid. I just wanted to show people what I’m made of.”
Iona Prep built a 50-35 lead with 5:34 left in the game behind Matt Ryan. The sophomore scored 27 points and hit 4 of 8 3-pointers.
Ryan hit 11 of 13 free throws. One of the misfires came with 4.6 remaining and led to Somers’ winning sequence.
Senior Brandon Williams added 13 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Tom Capuano, a starting guard, did not play because he was sick.