Below is Nancy Haggerty’s story on the low-scoring thriller between Panas and Tappan Zee that literally came down to the final second.
Before that, here’s Mike Zacchio’s video on the final, frantic seconds for Tappan Zee, including a key jump ball that turned possession over to Panas with 10.7 seconds remaining and Ryan McWilliams’ game-winning shot attempt:
WHITE PLAINS It came down to the last four seconds. Two shots.
Neither fell for Tappan Zee.
Panas’ Cinderella season continued Wednesday night as it advanced to the Section 1 Class A final, defeating Tappan Zee 39-38.
The No. 2-seeded Panthers will play top-seeded Eastchester on Saturday at 5 p.m.
“I thought we might have a shot (at making the semis) as a ninth or 10th seed looking in if things fell right,” Sullivan explained.
Ultimately, everything fell right for the Panthers Wednesday.
The game was largely a defensive battle.
It was tied at 17 at the half and at 26 at the end of three quarters.
Panas had led by as many as six points in the third quarter and No. 6-seeded Tappan Zee led by five with 6:45 left in the fourth.
But two minutes later, Panas knotted the game at 32 on a Timmy McCauley bucket.
McCauley, taunted as “overrated” by some of the Tappan Zee student body, who were banished by their own school officials for poor language late in the game, was limited to only two first-half points.
But he finished with 16 points and seven rebounds and scored the game winner.
Before that, Tappan Zee’s Luke McLaughlin, who had 11 points for the game, nailed a 3-pointer to put his squad up 35-34 with 2:53 left in the game.
An offensive rebound and score by Ryan McWilliams, who finished with 15 points, extended Tappan Zee’s lead to three with two minutes left.
But McCauley went end-to-end, was fouled and converted the free throw, tying things at 37 with 1:24 left (pictured above right).
Panas had a one-point lead with 10.7 seconds remaining when a jump-ball call negated a go-ahead basket by Phil Powers.
After the Panthers missed the front end of a one-and-one, Tappan Zee subsequently missed on a shot and a follow as time expired.
“We had a lot of opportunities to sink shots. Some went in and out and some we couldn’t get over our shooting jitters,” Tappan Zee coach George Gaine said.
“It’s awesome. No one thought we’d be anything,” McCauley said.