PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Seconds earlier, Julian McGarvey thought he had cost his team a championship.
The senior missed two free throws with 3.9 seconds left and Ardsley trailing by two points in Section 1’s Class A final. Just then, McGarvey even shocked himself — and went viral.
McGarvey intercepted a long inbound pass from Tappan Zee and heaved a one-handed shot from over 70 feet. The shot dropped at the buzzer to hand Ardsley a shocking 52-51 victory at Pace University.
“At one moment it looks like the whole world was ending and I’m about to start balling on the court because I just missed the free throws to win the game for my team,” McGarvey said. “And then they throw one down half court, I catch it, stumble a little bit, throw it as on falling back and it found the bottom of the net.”
The Hail Mary came off the right hand of McGarvey, a five-year varsity basketball player who is committed to play football at Marist College. Never before had he made a pass like this.
“I’d say the quarterback arm helped a bit,” said McGarvey, who had 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and five steals to earn tournament MVP. “Throw it up high and let your receiver catch up to it. This time I hit the spot — right in the bottom of the net.”
McGarvey’s team earned a 49-48 lead on Dan Hewitt’s basket with 1:36 remaining. After each team made a defensive stop, Tappan Zee’s Oziah Deloatch gave his team a 51-49 edge when he grabbed a rebound outside the left block, scored and converted a three-point play with 14.2 to go.
On the ensuing play, McGarvey drove to the basket and drew a foul. When he missed the first shot with 3.9 seconds left, coach Sean Cappiello called a timeout and order him to miss the second. When he did, Tappan Zee rebounded and Ardsley fouled Jackson Muncan.
With neither team yet in the bonus, Tappan Zee inbounded from underneath Ardsley’s basket. From there, McGarvey’s miracle shot delivered Ardsley its first Section 1 championship since 1958. In fact, Saturday marked the program’s first appearance in the finals since 1999.
“It’s the greatest moment of my life,” McGarvey said. “I want to break down and cry but I don’t want to do it on camera.”