Joel Angus is making the spectacular routine.
The Bishop Loughlin junior slashed to the basket and scored the winning layup with 1.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lift the Lions to a come-from-behind 57-56 victory against All Hallows in a CHSAA Class AA game on Feb. 9 in Fort Greene.
Excuse Angus if he had a sense of déjà vu. On Feb. 6 at home, the 6-foot-5 swingman had a buzzer-beating bucket in a 74-73 non-league win against Archbishop Stepinac.
“I was thinking about that,” Angus said. “But today was better because it was a league game. We needed this win.”
In both situations, multiple Loughlin players touched the ball before a shot was taken. Needing to go the length of the court with 14.5 seconds left, Kevin Ravanell Jr. inbounded to Khadeen Carrington, who handed off to Tyliek Kimbrough, who made the final pass to Angus.
“It’s a big difference because in the beginning of the year, someone would have just come down and taken the shot,” Angus said.
Led by Raymond DelaCruz, who had 13 points and Jon Bruns and Raz Council, who had 10 points apiece, All Hallows went on a 14-0 run to take a 48-40 lead early in the fourth quarter. The Gaels were in front 54-48 on an Andrew Huggins 3-pointer, but they missed several critical free throws down the stretch to open the door for Angus’ dramatics.
“We went up eight by making the shots we wanted to make, but down the stretch they made a good run and we couldn’t put the game away,” said All Hallows assistant Brian Downey, who handled the head coaching responsibilities because John Carey said the Gaels needed “a different voice” after a “difficult week.”
All Hallows has lost four straight games by an average of 17.7 points per game.
Angus had 15 points and seven rebounds and Carrington also scored 15 points. Kimbrough had eight points and four steals and Travis Charles added six points, 12 rebounds and three blocks for Bishop Loughlin, which shook off a slow start Tuesday and surviving a final-second scare when Council’s desperation heave from midcourt caromed off the back rim.
“I was nervous,” Angus said. “I saw that it had enough air under it to get to the rim.”
Council was unable to do what Angus is making a habit of doing, though.
“He wants the ball,” Loughlin coach Ed Gonzalez said of Angus. “He’s really grown as a player. Normally he’d just settle for a jump shot, but he knows its better to get to the rack. He’s gained a lot of confidence.”
So, too, are the rest of the young Lions, who have won four of their last five games heading into the stretch drive of the regular season.
“We’re a young team, but we’re peaking at the right time,” Gonzalez said. “We came out sluggish and it’s tough to play All Hallows because they pass and move and make you play defense. It went down to the wire, but we never quit and we continue to play until the end.”