Down four points with less than a minute to play, Masuk's boys' basketball team looked to be in trouble against a Newtown team that had just one conference loss (a one-point decision against Immaculate). But the Panthers scored five points in 12 seconds to seize the lead and hung on for a thrilling 51-48 victory at home on February 11.
Jake Rosati drained a 3-pointer to pull the Panthers within a point with 55 seconds left (watch video here). Masuk forced a turnover and Rosati cashed in down low for a 49-48 lead with 43 seconds to play. Carson Swift got a defensive rebound, was fouled, and hit a front end one and one foul shot and second free throw with less than four seconds to play.
Newtown had a chance to tie and executed a last-second opportunity to near perfection. Tyson Mobley's shot from just past half court went around the rim before coming out, and the Panthers celebrated (watch video of the last play here).
"I'm pumped. This is huge for us. It's a rivalry game and it's a huge league game for us," said Masuk Coach Peter Szklarz, whose Panthers improved to 11-5 overall and 5-4 in SWC action.
"Give Masuk credit. They're much improved. They're playing at a high level right now," NHS Coach Tim Tallcouch said.
Newtown got a nice game from Jack Mulligan who scored 20 points. Joe McCray added 12 for the Nighthawks.
Swift had 15 points and Rosati 11, all in the second half, for the Panthers. Aren Cummings scored eight, Mateo Esmeraldo had seven and Jacob Leisawitz added six for Masuk.
The Panthers built a 38-29 late in the third quarter. Newtown got to within 38-37 heading to the fourth and built its late lead behind McCray's 3-pointer and baseline two-pointer less than a minute apart.