LUNENBURG -- Senior shooting guard Trevor Granville scored a game-high 28 points for the Bromfield Trojans, but it wasn't enough as they fell to Lunenburg, 70-68, as the buzzer bellowed.
Lunenburg's Kacy Thiphavong bolted his feet near the right block under the basket, and lofted up a dovelike layup that kissed the glass and plummeted through the cylinder like a coin in a wishing well with four-tenths of a second left.
"We were supposed to slow him down," said Bromfield head coach Tom Hill on the winning shot. "We couldn't foul him because we were in the penalty. Nobody really seemed to stop the guy with the ball. We expected a long inbound pass more than anything else."
Bromfield closed the first half of play on a 16-4 run to bring the game to within two at 31-29 as the two teams went to the dressing room. The Trojans shot an impressive 48 percent from the field in the half, but their luck was about to change.
The Blue Knights marched out to an 11-0 run to start the second half, spearheaded by Sanders.
Sanders finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds, good enough for a double-double. Thiphavong finished the game with 17, but none were more clutch than the shot he knocked down at the end of the fourth quarter.
Lunenburg desperately clung to a 68-63 lead when leading scorer Jared Trinque (19 points) knocked down a free throw to extend the lead to five. As the saying goes in basketball, the final minute is always the longest, and it could not have felt longer for the Blue Knights. Bromfield senior Kevin Sun knifed his way inside the paint and kissed the ball off the window and in to cut the Blue Knights' lead to 68-65.
Bromfield trailed by as much as 13 in the fourth quarter, but they came storming back. The Trojans defense forced a Lunenburg turnover, following an emphatic block by Ryan Kennedy on an Andrew Sanders shot attempt. Kennedy gathered the ball and swung it up the floor to Granville.
"We had not played that well in scrimmages," said Hill. "I was very surprised. I figured with the scrimmages there was less pressure. That is the best we have looked so far. I think that's a good sign."
Granville stutter-stepped the leaping Lunenburg defender and tickled the nylon from the right elbow of the arc to tie the game at 68-68 with 4.5 seconds remaining. Granville connected on six three-point attempts from beyond the arc in the loss.
Other teams may have regrouped and tried their luck in overtime. Some may have got the ball to half-court and called timeout to get the inbound closer to the basket. Lunenburg's Greg Abare shot-putted the basketball into the hands of the speedy Thiphavong. Thiphavong glided down the parquet, cemented his feet under the basket, and kissed the ball high off the window, and through the cylinder just as time expired.
Matt Griffin and Kennedy chipped in 10 points in the loss. Freshman Jake Frackiewicz scored five points in his first career start at point guard.
"Over the last three years we have three lost games in the fourth quarter at Lunenburg at the buzzer," said Hill. "It is a little frustrating. I told the guys that early in the season I would rather lose and play well than win and play ugly. I think there were a lot more positives than negatives that came out of this game."