Jordan Sullivan Buzzer Beater Sends Mystic Valley Girls to Semifinals
The Mystic Valley girls’ basketball team won a thriller on Saturday evening, beating Greater Lowell Tech 35-34 at the buzzer. Trailing 34-33, with just 4.7 seconds remaining, sophomore Jessica Phinney found senior Jordan Sullivan open at the free throw line. Sullivan took one dribble to her right and calmly nailed the game winner sending Mystic Valley basketball into the semifinal round for the first time on school history.
The game was a seesaw affair that saw the lead change hands multiple times throughout the evening. The Lady Eagles raced out to an 8-2 lead after the first quarter. “It was easily the best defensive performance of the season in that first quarter” said Coach Jason Cantwell. However, the second quarter was close to the opposite as Greater Lowell was able to outscore Mystic 13-4 to take a 15-12 into the half.
The Lady Eagles began the second half on a 6-0 run erasing the deficit and retaking the lead. Mystic Valley outscored Greater Lowell 14-8 in the quarter to take a 26-23 lead into the fourth and final frame. The final quarter was filled with lead changes, most notably the final minute. After a Jessica Phinney floater gave the Eagles the lead with just under 37.5 seconds to go, Greater Lowell answered with a drive and layup of their own to go ahead 34-33 with just 14 seconds left on the clock. Opting not to call a timeout, Mystic Valley drove up the court but had the ball deflected out of bounds on the baseline.
Coach Cantwell called timeout with only 4.7 left on the clock and drew up the inbounds play. “The play had two primary options, option one was a quick pass from Phinney to Paulina Petras, with Jessica popping out to the corner for the shot. The other option was Jordan on the fade cut to the free throw line. Facing the same situation in last years’ tournament, we ran a hand off to Phinney on which she was fouled and hit a free throw to force overtime. I expected them to prepare for something similar. My gut feeling was that Jordan would be open for the shot” explained Cantwell.
After getting the ball from the referee Phinney faked a pass to her left and to her right which allowed Sullivan to break free at the foul line. Sullivan dribbled once to her right and then calmly stepped up and buried the jumper sending the home crowd into hysteria. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHyWd0vpML0&feature=youtu.be
Freshman Meghan Foley led the way offensively with a game high 14 points (adding 9 rebounds, 6 steals and 3 assists). Phinney had 7 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals (while deflecting a game high 16 passes). Sullivan scored 6 and grabbed 10 rebounds. Senior Joanna Petras only made two baskets, but both came at key points in the game stopping Greater Lowell runs. Junior Tania Fabo and sophomore Paulina Petras each added 2 points apiece to round out the scoring. Also playing well were senior Kathryn McPherson and sophomore Shannon Roseen who both played solid defense and added some important rebounds.
The girls have now clinched a spot in the Division 4 North semi-finals and will take on Whittier Tech on Wednesday, 7PM at Chelsea High School.