WRIGHTSVILLE -- Bermudian Springs had just tied it with 7.6 seconds left in overtime at Eastern York on Tuesday night.
With his team inbounding the ball underneath the Eagles' basket, all Golden Knights' guard Cody Bollinger had on his mind was to get down the court.
"The more players I can take away from Dalton (Reichard) and Broguen (Nicholas) the better off they're gonna be," Bollinger said. "That was my goal. I'd give them the ball anytime on a last-second shot."
Except the last-second shot came to Bollinger. Picking up a pass in the left corner from beyond the arc, Bollinger had his back to the basket as Eagles defenders charged toward him. In one motion, Bollinger spun and heaved up a shot toward the rim. He didn't even see the game-winning buzzer-beater go in to give Eastern a 57-54 victory. But he knew it was good when the crowd erupted and the Eastern student section tackled him.
"I was right next to the crowd," he said. "It's gonna be in my ear for awhile. It's gonna be memorable."
With the win, Eastern (11-3 in Division III, 16-6 overall) earned a share of the York-Adams Division III crown with York Suburban (11-3, 13-9), while Bermudian (10-4, 16-5) finished third in the division.
For the Knights, it's a turnaround from a disappointing 7-15 season a year ago.
"We knew we were gonna struggle a little bit last year," Eastern coach Jon Reichard said. "We had absolutely no experience other than my son. It really isn't me at all (this season). It's the kids just stepping up. They worked hard."
The final seven seconds of Tuesday's contest pretty much summed up how the rest of the back-and-forth game went. Bermudian held a 21-17 lead after the opening quarter but Eastern outscored the Eagles 17-9 in the second quarter to lead 34-30 at intermission. Eastern later held a seven-point lead with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter before Bermudian closed out the period on a 10-3 run. A free-throw from Bermudian guard Zach Stroup with 11.5 seconds left sent it to overtime.
Eastern first got 3-pointers from guards Dalton Reichard (14 points) and Grum Kebede in the OT. The latter made it 54-51 in favor of the Knights with 1:14 to play. Nicholas (16 points) missed the first of a one-and-one at the foul line to give possession back to the Eagles with 45 seconds remaining.
Three times Bermudian attempted a 3-pointer and missed, but pulled down the offensive rebound. Finally, Eagles' guard Alex Orwig (10 points) nailed a trey from the top of the key with 7.6 seconds left to tie it before Bollinger answered on the other end.
"Once they (Bermudian) scored with that little bit of time, the object is to get it inbounds and whoever has it you have to make a move toward the bucket," Coach Reichard said. "(Bollinger) had the common sense to spin and throw it up. At least we got a shot at it."
Neil Murren (16 points) and Silas Murren (12 points) led the Eagles.
Playoffs: Suburban won both regular-season games over the Knights and as a result will have the higher seed in the York-Adams Tournament that starts Saturday.
Eastern will face South Western at Spring Grove at 6:30 p.m., while Bermudian will play York High at Red Lion at 8 p.m.
Honored: Eastern York senior student Brandon Hohenadel, 18, was honored before Tuesday's game.
Hohenadel, who played basketball through his freshman year, was diagnosed with leukemia on Dec. 18 and is in the beginning stages of chemotherapy. Fans purchased specially-designed orange T-shirts in honor of Hohenadel on Tuesday, with proceeds going toward the Four Diamonds Fund.
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.