Buzzer-Beating shot secures win for boys varsity basketball

Margot Murphy '23, Photographer

FAST BREAK South Boys Basketball captain Anthony Bernard ’23 prepares to score his third three-pointer basket of the night which widens their lead against their competitors, Michigan Collegiate

Captain Anthony Bernard ’23 propelled South past Michigan Collegiate High School’s Cougars by way of a three point buzzer beater.

On March 3, the Grosse Pointe South’s Boys’ Varsity basketball team took on the Cougars in a toss up game, but they were conquered by South through quick plays and strategies, an incredible improvement compared to the beginning of their season.

“This is a good team, [they are] seventh in division two [MHSAA Boys Basketball ranking],” head coach Steve Bernard said. “They’re a good competition for the team to get ready for playoffs.”

South took an immediate lead in the first period, with Karter Richards ’24 scoring a layup within the first minute in the game, closely followed by Vincent Vachon’s ’25 own two-point basket. However, the opposing team were quick to catch-up, narrowing South’s lead to only three points, ending the first period with a score of 9 to 6.

“You can’t let the other team speed you up and make mistakes,” Alex English ’23 said, a starting center for the team.

However, South would not go down without a fight in the second period, calling a full time-out at three minutes and twenty seconds to talk strategy and hopefully alter Michigan Collegiate’s momentum. Once the buzzer rang, South took aggressive action to narrow down the current 15 – 19 score difference with Vachon making a three pointer, bringing the point difference down to one.

With only eight seconds left in the period, South was not able to tie up the score, ending the second period with the score of 18 – 19, Cougar lead.

“The Collegiate [Cougars] would gain a lead, [so] you have to keep calm and play your own game,” English said.

ON THE OFFENSE Dodging Michigan Collegiate
guards, Griffin Adams ’23 hopes to score another layup in during the third period of March 3 South Boys Varsity game in order to retake the lead from the opposition.

With the end of the first half, a tense, excited energy took over the crowd, knowing that the remainder of the game was a toss-up, and either team could pull out a win. Once the third period began, the Michigan Collegiate expanded their original one-point lead from to a seven-point lead through securing almost every rebound off of South’s potential baskets. However, in the span of forty seconds, Bernard made two three-point shots, dwindling the Michigan Collegiate lead back to one point.

“I would say that having a good crowd helps bring good energy when we make big plays,” English said. “It gives us extra momentum and an overall good atmosphere.”

The lead changed hands throughout the remainder of the third period, with Michigan Collegiate calling a 30-second timeout with one second left on the clock since South began to turn the momentum to their favor.

“Everyone was able to come together just when we needed to,” Anthony Bernard ’23 said.

The final period of the game began with a free throw where Richards successfully made both shots and Thomas Maccagnone ’23 secured a one-point lead by making a layup. However, with a shooting foul on South, Michigan Collegiate received a free throw, making the score become 46 to 47.

With only a one point lead difference in the last .6 seconds of the game, Bernard scored his fifth three-point shot, allowing the team to win the game with a final score of 49 to 47.

“It felt great,” said Bernard. “Just feeling the rhythm in the second half as compared to the first definitely helped.”

With another victory under South’s belt and the upcoming playoffs, Coach Bernard says that even though the team mostly consists of juniors who are new to varsity, he feels that after Wednesday’s game, they’ve officially become senior players.

“They’ve really stepped up, so I’m really proud of the team, that’s why we’re winning,” Bernard said.