Magicians advance on buzzer-beater

Marblehead’s Miles O’Neill won Tuesday’s game at the buzzer, completing every high school athlete’s dream. Photo by Libby O'Neill

Tuesday’s Sweet 16 boys basketball game between Marblehead and Pope Francis was tied 57-57 with seconds remaining. A three-point shot from the Magicians bounced off the rim and into the waiting hands of Miles O’Neill. The rest was history.

O’Neill scored at the buzzer, positioning himself perfectly for the rebound and finishing the layup to win the game for Marblehead 59-57.

“He did a great job grabbing the rebound, and an even better job putting it back in,” Marblehead coach Mike Giardi said.

It was a designed play with Marblehead getting exactly what it wanted. That said, despite the initial miss, it all worked out in the end.

“Sometimes hustle and heart are a little better than the best designed plays,” Giardi said. “Our kids stayed poised and didn’t panic at the end.”

In case you were wondering how it got to that point, Marblehead held a strong lead heading into the third quarter, but Pope Francis wouldn’t go away.

“We missed a couple of big shots that could’ve extended it,” Giardi said. “They just kept chipping away and attacking the hoop.” Giardi said.

Marblehead’s leading scorers were Nicholas Lemmond (19 points), Ryan Commoss (14), and Tyrone Countryman (9) as the team is moving on to the Elite 8 against Mansfield (date and location TBD).