Buzzer-beater sinks Warriors

WILTON – For the entire second half Friday night, Wilton-Lyndeborough High School boys basketball coach Ken Garnham had watched Newmarket’s Ryan Jarvis beat his defense.

So when the Warriors forced overtime on Jordan Litts’ halfcourt buzzer-beater, Garnham instructed his players to stay with Jarvis.

With the Warriors holding a 55-54 lead with 15.9 seconds left, they did as their coach instructed and managed to keep Newmarket out of the paint. But that left Sam Leahy open at the top of the key and the senior’s 3-pointer from way behind the arc was good at the buzzer to give the Mules a 57-55 win in overtime.

“Defensively, we wanted to take out (Jarvis),” Garnham said of the final play. “We wanted to pressure them away from the inside. Then (Leahy) chucked one up from about seven or eight feet behind the 3-point line. It’s a tough ending, no question.”

Tough ending to a night made a little longer by Litts, who finished with 27 points, including 3s to beat the buzzer at the end of the third and fourth quarters. Kyle Pratt (13 points) and Matt Ducharme (10) were both in double figures, but the rest of the Warriors (3-5 in Division IV) combined for just five points.

Jarvis scored 17 of his game-high 28 points in the second half and hit five 3-pointers, including two at the start of the fourth quarter that helped Newmarket turn a 37-32 deficit into a 45-39 lead.

The Mules (4-4) led for most of the fourth quarter before the Warriors got back into it, thanks in part to their defense. After Ian Bentley hit two free throws to put the Mules up by six with 4:48 left to play, Newmarket went more than four minutes without a point.

WLC cut the lead to one, 45-44, on a layup by Ducharme, but Leahy made two free throws at the other end to make it a 3-point game again. Pratt missed on a 3 at the other end, but Litts was there for the putback to make 47-46 and the Warriors fouled with 2.1 seconds left.

Jarvis made both free throws, but the Mules couldn’t keep the ball from going to Litts and his last-second 3 was good to tie the game at 49.

“That was one of the best shots I’ve seen at that point of a game,” Garnham said.

WLC took a 53-51 lead on four straight free throws by Litts and Pratt, but a 3-pointer by Jarvis put Newmarket on top again. Ducharme made two more free throws to give the Warriors a one-point lead, setting up Leahy’s game-winner.