Hornet McAllister's 3 at buzzer nips Chapel Hill
Through one, two, and then three timeouts, Hillside senior Marius McAllister remained calm. Finally, he caught an inbounds pass in the corner, rose and nailed a 3 at the buzzer, lifting the Hornets a 44-41 win over Chapel Hill Friday night.
“It’s sort of like in football, they ice the kicker,” said McAllister, who had never hit a game-winner in high school. “When the time came up, no matter how long it took, I was ready to finish the game.”
Hillside (8-2) had led the entire fourth quarter until Chapel Hill (6-3) tied the game with 20 seconds left on a 3 by Shane Turner — Turner’s only basket of the night. De’Shon Self missed a 3 on the other end, but Turner fell to the court after grabbing the rebound and was called for traveling, allowing Hillside to inbound the ball from the Tigers’ end with 0.8 seconds left.
Self wanted to lob the ball to Trevion Thompson, but Chapel Hill was protecting the basket. Eventually, after the teams combined to call three timeouts, a stack play was designed for McAllister, who made the 3-pointer with a hand in his face.
“A corner, contested shot is probably about a 20 percent shot, and about 10 percent in high school,” Tigers coach Tod Morgan said. “But hey, he’s a great athlete and I give him credit, he hit a big shot.”
McAllister’s 3-pointer matched the combined scoring output for both teams in the second quarter. After Chapel Hill raced out to a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Tigers turned the ball over six times and missed all six of its shot attempts in a scoreless second quarter. But Chapel Hill still led at halftime, since Hillside shot 1-for-10 with five turnovers.
“The defense was intense,” McAllister said. “It was really hard to find weaknesses because both teams were so well run and fighting pretty hard.”
Chapel Hill scored on three of its first four possessions of the third quarter, opening up its largest lead at 23-14. But Self hit two straight 3s to jumpstart Hillside, and then hit a 30-foot bank shot at the third-quarter buzzer to give the Hornets their first lead at 29-27.
“(At halftime) I felt good with everything we’d done,” Hillside coach Crasten Davis said. “I mean, we weren’t hitting shots. So we told them to keep shooting and we’ll eventually get hot.”
Chapel Hill got within one point four separate times in the fourth quarter, including a tip-in by Anthony Vanhook with a minute left that made the score 39-38. McAllister scored on a putback with 48 seconds left to push the lead back to 3, but Turner connected from the corner off an inbounds play to tie the game. Finally, Hillside responded with its own corner 3 off an inbounds play to record the win.
It was the second time in 11 days that Hillside beat the Tigers in a closely-contested game — the Hornets won 60-56 in Chapel Hill. Afterwards, both teams took some satisfaction from the way the home-and-home series played out.
Noting the Tigers went 26-2 last season, Self said: “Chapel Hill is one of the best teams in the area, and if we can beat Chapel Hill twice, we have a chance to really go far.”
Said Morgan: “That’s great because we’re a 3-A school and they’re 4-A, and they’re really good in 4A, so hopefully we’ll be really good in 3-A.”
Hillside 44, Chapel Hill 41
CHAPEL HILL — Stephen Himmelberg Jr. 4, Anthony Vanhook 14, Elliot Orenstein 4, Shane Turner 3, Ryan Hegedus 7, Karl Hill 2, Jamison Richmond 7.
HILLSIDE — Robert Robinson Jr. 7, D’Ontray Johnson 2, Isaiah Dickens 4, Trevion Thompson 2, Marius McAllister 15, DeShon Self 14.
3-point FG—Hillside 6 (Self 4, McAllister 2), Chapel Hill 2 (Hegedus, Turner).
Records—Chapel Hill 6-3, Hillside 8-2.