With the score tied 60-60, Hales Franciscan forward Tim Robertson was fouled by De La Salle with 0.1 seconds left trying to get off a shot.
Robertson missed the first of a double-bonus, and Meteors coach Tom White called a timeout.
“Well the first thing I was thinking was that was the worst thing I could have done,” Robertson said. “But then I knew I had to be a senior leader and get the job done [on the next free throw].”
He did. Robertson calmly swooshed in the game-winning point and the Spartans escaped with an exciting 61-60 Catholic South win. It was the time the Spartans (11-7, 6-1) beat the Meteors (7-9. 4-3) in six years.
Robertson was scoreless in the second half before that free throw after scoring 15 points in the first half when his team built a 37-27 lead. Joseph Larry had 11 points while E’Mon Frison had all eight of his points in that first half off the bench. Johnny Fox had eight rebounds and four blocks.
“A lot of times you will see referees just let that play out and I don’t think there was too much beef [by De La Salle] -- it was a pretty obvious call,” Hales coach Gary London said. “One of my assistant coaches [Tyrone] Felix told [Robertson] ‘You’re a senior and you guys have been playing well and you have to step up’.”
The Spartans stepped up at the end of the first quarter when they closed it with a 15-0 run for a 23-9 lead. The Meteors responded in the third with a 19-5 run to regain the lead 46-42. Brandon Hutton had nine of his 19 points in the quarter. He also finished with 14 rebounds and three blocks.
Martez Cameron added 10 for the Meteors.
“This just feels good to finally get over that hump that we’ve had for the past six years,” Robertson said. “That’s the first time I ever hit a [game-winner] and it was good to send my team home with a win.”