Mystic Valley Boys Start Season with Buzzer Beating Win
The shortest player on the court scored the biggest basket of his high school career. That’s what happened when Raymond Lueng, a 5-foot-6 junior point guard, hit a buzzer-beating, three-point shot to lift the Mystic Valley boys’ varsity basketball team to a pulsating, 43-40, victory over Lynn Tech on the road in the opening game of the 2012-13 season.
“It was a great shot by a great kid,” said Eagles’ head coach Tony Ferullo. “This is one of those lifetime moments that he will never forget.”
With four new starters cracking the lineup from last year’s Commonwealth Athletic Conference (CAC) Small Division championship team, Mystic Valley jumped out to leads of 8-0 and 21-7 against Lynn Tech, a very athletic and talented CAC Large Division team. “We jumped out on them early by playing good team defense and sharing the ball on offense,” noted Ferullo.
The Eagles’ continued to play solid basketball at both ends of the floor at the start of the second half, and held a 32-21 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was not one for the faint of heart. Lynn Tech made a big run, thanks to the inside play of their 6-foot-7 center and outside shooting by their guards. With less than 10 seconds to play, a Lynn Tech three-pointer tied the game at 40-40.
With 3.6 seconds left in the game, Lynn Tech had the ball under the Mystic Valley basket. The Lynn Tech player taking the ball out of bounds, however, couldn’t get the ball in play and was called for a five second count, giving the ball over to Mystic Valley.
“We had one timeout left and we set up a play for Hari (Perisic) as our first option and Raymond as our second option,” said Ferullo. “We thought they would collapse on Hari, so I looked at Raymond before he left the bench and told him, ‘if you catch the ball, shoot it and win the game.’” The rest, as they say, is history.
“This was a tremendous way to start the season,” said Ferullo. “Everyone on our team played with so much heart and poise, supporting each other from beginning to end. I couldn’t be more proud of this group of young student athletes.”
Perisic led the Eagles in scoring with 16 points (including eight rebounds, three assists and three steals). Also contributing in the scoring column were: eighth grade guard Danzy Briceus (6 points), Leung, senior forward Woodsy Prosper and sophomore guard Jean Celestin (5 points each), freshman center Matt O’Connor (4 points), and junior forward Adam Saisad (2 points).
Mystic Valley’s next game is Thursday, Dec. 13, at home versus CAC foe Fellowship Christian Academy. Tipoff time is 4 pm.