17th-seeded Platt was roaring past No. 16 Barlow for the majority of its Class L first-round game in Redding, The Panthers had amassed a 36-20 lead with under 3 minutes left in the third quarter.
But suddenly Platt found itself in foul trouble. Barlow made an inspiring comeback and this game suddenly got as tight as the seedings would have suggested.
A 3-pointer from Barlow captain Matt McGannon tied the game at 47-all with 1:19 remaining and had the Falcons and their home fans in a frenzy.
McGannon missed Barlow’s chance to take the lead and, off a timeout with 20 seconds left, Platt got the ball to 6-foot-3 sophomore Isiah Gaiter, who created some early tourney magic.
“We talked about getting it into (teammate) Tylon (Papallo) and getting it back to me to see what I could do, take it to the rack or something,” Gaiter told the Meriden Record-Journal.
And that’s what happen. He took a feed from Papallo at the top of the 3-point line, calmly drove the lane and, with a Barlow defender right in his face, lofted up a one-handed shot that dropped just as the buzzer sounded.
Had ’em all the way, right guys?
— Jess? (@JessicaAlers) March 8, 2016
It was Platt’s first CIAC boys basketball tournament victory since 2003.
The victory shot was already the third buzzer-beater of the Class L tournament, following Bethel’s heroics in the play-in game vs. Bristol Central, and Hand’s buzzer-beating win over E.O. Smith.
Platt advances to face top-seeded Windsor, a 75-36 winner over Branford, in the second round on Wednesday.
This has been #TWEETYOURBUZZERBEATERS