Harvard-Westlake pulled off a Christian Laettner-like play at the end of regulation on Tuesday en route to a 70-66 overtime victory over Palisades in the Santa Monica tournament.
“That’s the same play we’ve been trying to run for years,” assistant coach Ari Engelberg said. “It finally worked.”
Monroe Gordon of Palisades went to the free-throw line with three seconds left. He made one of two free throws to give the Dolphins a 59-57 lead. Harvard-Westlake got the rebound on the second miss and called timeout with 1.8 seconds left on the clock. The officials changed it to 2.6 seconds.
Bryan Polan threw a long precision pass from the baseline to Derick Newton just inside the top of the key. He caught it, took one dribble and scored on an uncontested layup as the buzzer sounded.
“We needed all 2.6 seconds,” Harvard-Westlake Coach Greg Hilliard said. “I think he used 2.5599.”
The Wolverines had scored 16 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to wipe out a 12-point deficit. Palisades went ahead, 58-57, with 16 seconds left on a basket by Aaron Johnson, who finished with 27 points.
In overtime, Polan made a three-point play with 44 seconds left to break a 66-66 deadlock.
Newton finished with 37 points for the Wolverines (1-0).