WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Patrick Galvin’s tiebreaking foul-line jumper with 3.4 seconds remaining kept King’s playoff hopes alive, and it ended those of the Monarchs’ two local rivals.
Galvin’s jumper kept the Monarchs in a tie for the final playoff spot in the MAC Freedom Conference and also knocked both Wilkes and Misericordia out of contention when the Cougars lost to DeSales.
“The last week and a half, every game has been a playoff game,” King’s coach J.P. Andrejko said. “We put Wilkes three games behind us with two games to play. We did what we had to do.”
The Monarchs 73-71 win over the Colonels was nothing short of dramatic, as Wilkes tied the game up with under 30 seconds left.
The Monarchs held the ball until there were 10 seconds left on the clock. They put the play in motion and Galvin took his shot from the free-throw line.
“We ran that play against them at the end of the first half at their place earlier in the year,” Galvin said. “Coach said we were doing it again and he trusted me with the ball in my hands to make a play.”
The drama was still far from over though.
After a timeout, the Colonels sent the ball down the court towards Jake Robel. He tried a pass out to Donovan Breeding for the potential game-winning three-pointer. His shot went up and into the basket, but the officials blew the play dead, saying that Galvin fouled Robel on the inbound pass, meaning Breeding’s shot wouldn’t count and Robel needed to make two free throws to tie the game.
“We were just trying to get the ball inside and get a good look at the hoop,” Rob Pecorelli said. “It was a good play that we designed and a good play to get an open look. They called the foul, and that’s how it worked out.”
Coming to the line, Robel was 2-5 from the stripe on the day and he missed his first of the two shots. He intentionally missed the second so his team could try for a rebound, but King’s Pat Mitchell swallowed it up and called game.
Wilkes shot 41 percent from the field but just 17 percent from the three-point line. Pecorelli led the team with 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Mark Mullins added 17 points and seven rebounds and Drake Marshall had 12 points, five steals and seven rebounds.