Sometimes prayers are answered.
Senior forward Jay Mulani's three-point Hail Mary with less than two seconds remaining in the game allowed Belmont (1-9) to romp by a surprised Woburn High team (6-4) in overtime to secure their first win of the season, 64-57, at Woburn.
Mulani's shot, which banked off the backboard from an tight angle, knotted up Tuesday night's game against the Middlesex League leading Tanners at 53 at the end of regulation.
"We were looking for them to foul Jay," said Assistant and JV Coach Tim Stratford.
"When it went in, the kids went nuts," said Stratford.
In the extra stanza, Belmont youngsters – freshmen guard Matt Kerans (16 points) and center Adam Kleckner (who led the Marauders with 22 points) – and senior captain Matt Levine lead the way as Kerans and junior guard Keith Burns (who finished with 15 points) were stone cold from the free throw line each going four-for-four, giving Belmont fans a glimpse of the team's future.
"I told (the team) that without question in all the years of coaching I've been part of ... that was the most impressive comeback in my career," said Belmont's Head Coach Adam Pritchard as the team came back from a horrific first quarter, scoring only four points, to fall behind, 21-4, after the first eight minutes.
The epic win ends a frustrating run of play where Belmont would remain close with nearly every opponent only to let down in the late minutes to come up short.
After going down in the first by 17 – the Tanners made five three-point shots in the quarter – the Marauders fought back for the 24 minutes in the remaining three quarters, not allowing the Tanners to pull away while chipping away at the lead.
Led by the inside/outside pairing of center Kleckner and shooting guard Kerans, Belmont crawled back into the game as the team stepped up its defensive intensity, limiting the Tanners to 10, 9 and 13 points in the remaining quarters.
Down 40-33 at the start of the final quarter, Belmont began burying their opportunities and kept the Tanners off the offensive boards. A furious push by Belmont ended when Mulani took his wild shot as the clock neared triple zeros.