ROXBURY, Mass. -- East Boston did not take possession of the ball first in overtime, but the buzzer-beating shot by Kenny Ramos was all she wrote, as the Jets come from behind to beat Madison Park by one, 60-59, taking Boston City League Championship after losing in the finals to Charlestown a year ago.
“I told this team earlier this game was going to come down to the last 38 seconds,” said East Boston coach Malcolm Smith. “I didn’t know it would be 35 seconds.”
In regulation, the Jets were down 50-47 when Zack Gattereau hit a trey with 7.1 seconds left on the clock to tie the game up at 50. Madison was unable to score on the following possession so overtime was called. Madison got the ball first and quickly went up 54-50 after scores from Rashawn Matthews and David Stewart.
Senior Dakim Murray had been coming up big for the Cardinals all game (18 points, 11 rebounds), but picked up his fifth foul, a hack on Ramos, with 2:54 remaining in the overtime period. Ramos made his two free throws to put the Jets within two.
Less than a minute later, Ramos tied the game up at 54 with two minutes left. An MP timeout at 1:47 got Madison Park back on track, as Joy hit another two after the ball bounced around for a bit. Unrelentless, Ramos came back and tied the game at 56 with 1:15 to go, but Joy had the hot hand for MP and drained a tre with 1:00 to go in the game to make it 59-56, advantage Madison. This would be Madison’s last score of the game.
Eastie’s Will March scored off of a Kenny Ramos assist to put the Jets within one with 34 seconds left. Madison Park could not score on the following possession, and with the ball moving around the court, senior Kyle Fox was able to swipe the ball, giving Kenny Ramos a chance to sink a shot with the clock ticking down to send the East Boston cheering section into an uproar and capture the city title.
Everybody played their role and the East Boston players and fans embraced at the end of the court near their bench to celebrate their comeback 60-59 victory on Madison’s home court.
Fourth Quarter: Going into the fourth, Madison was up by four at 39-35. They would maintain the lead after exchanging baskets with East Boston until Eastie’s Kyle Fox hit a three-pointer to tie up the game at 45 with 2:05 left in the game. Madison’s Joy came back for a quick pull up jumper to regain the lead for MP at 47-45.
After exchanging possessions and Ramos missing two free throws, he was finally able to get a score to tie the game up again, but Madison’s David Stewart quickly got MP back ahead at 49-47 with 40 seconds left in regulation. A Rashawn Matthews trip to the free throw line netted only one shot, leaving enough space for Zack Gattereau’s three pointer to send the game into OT.
“I have the whole team run when he does that,” said Smith of Gattereau’s three point shot.
Smith likened it to Kobe Bryant taking a three when he comes down court. Usually the entire Jets team runs when this happens, so Smith was not feeling good when the shot went up.
“I was screaming no when he let it go," Smith said. "But Zack’s got a lot of confidence in what he does and that was nothing but bottom of the net.”
Although Gattereau was confident, he admits that he was not the first option. The possession was drawn up for Kyle Fox, but with his practice in the morning, the ability to sink the key bucket came to Gattereau.
“I was praying this morning, so I feel like God blessed me,” Gattereau said.
Todo Corazon: Scoring eight out of the final ten points in overtime to lead your team to victory is a feat few could physically pull off, but the psychology and mental energy exerted by Kenny Ramos in the last minutes of the game is what gave East Boston that victory.
“That was all heart,” said Ramos. “That’s East Boston basketball at it’s finest.”
The other two points in OT came from March, who has a history with Ramos.
“We’re good friends, we go back in AAU since eighth grade,” said March. “I just had to help my boy Kenny out.”