After sinking the game-winning shot, Palm Beach Atlantic’s Evin Graham fell to his back and slid across the floor with arms spread wide, taking in the feeling of a buzzer-beating win.
Graham made a layup off the glass as time expired, giving the Sailfish an 80-78 win over Paine on Tuesday at HEAL Complex.
“We’ve been talking about putting the ball on the glass instead of finger-rolling it around the rim all season, and we finally did it on the final possession,” Palm Beach Atlantic coach David Balza said.
Graham, who had 16 points Tuesday, received the inbound pass with 3 seconds left and the game tied. It was the sixth and final lead change in the game.
“(Graham) has struggled at times, and he really struggled the last game,” Balza said. “I think it was retribution a little bit for him to be the hero instead of the goat.”
Paine (4-5) came out flat and trailed 17-2 early. But the Lions responded and quickly climbed to their first lead with 3:20 left in the first half. They held a 38-36 halftime lead.
Paine held the lead for most of the second half, including its biggest lead of the game at 10 with 11:20 left.
The Sailfish (3-7) inched back and took a three-point lead with 22 seconds left. Paine’s Markees Walker made a 3-pointer with six seconds left to tie it at 78.
“We were fine in half-court defense, but in transition defense they beat us,” Paine coach Jimmy Link said. “We just didn’t play that well.”
Paine’s Jordan Warner recorded a game-high 20 points on 9 for 10 shooting off the bench, adding seven rebounds. Kenny Fluellen had 14 points.
Clayton Williams had 18 points and six assists to lead the Sailfish, who shot 55 percent from the field, including 53 percent from the 3-point arc.