MONMOUTH — Trailing by two points with just 10 ticks left on the game clock, freshman Nick Judge found the ball in his hands and the game on the line.

The reserve guard calmly swished a jump shot from just to the right of the top of the key to lift Georges Valley to a 40-39 upset victory over Monmouth in a boys’ basketball game Tuesday night.

The Buccaneers (6-11) inbounded the ball from midcourt with 14.8 seconds left to play. The initial lob to the basket found Ben Wallace too far underneath. He quickly located teammate Gordon Armstrong along the right baseline. When Armstrong felt the rotating pressure, he kicked the ball out to the freshman.

“It just all fell into play,” said Judge. “I had a chance the other night on the same type of shot, but I missed. I wanted to redeem myself. They went down to double our big man. Once the ball went into the paint, I slid up. It felt pretty good coming off, but I thought it was going to go long.”

Judge’s basket was his only one of the game. The reserve guard didn’t even play in the first half.

“He’s a freshman,” said Georges Valley coach Scott Johnson. “Sometimes he plays well, sometimes he doesn’t. He played well in the second half. He stepped up and fit in well.”

The Mustangs (12-5) had one more chance after calling for a timeout with 7.1 seconds remaining. Following a timeout to avoid a five-second violation, the Mustangs were able to move the ball past half court before signaling another timeout. With 3.9 seconds to go, Monmouth’s Tim Whitmore inbounded the ball before receiving it back. He spotted up for a 3-point attempt from the right wing, but the ball nestled between the front side of the rim and the backboard as the buzzer sounded.

“It’s crazy,” said Judge. “For us to come into this place on senior night and win, it’s a great feeling.”

Johnson had his team employ what he referred to as a diamond and two defensive strategy. He placed a rotating big man underneath to guard pivot man Roger Bachelder and put Cy McGeady on Whitmore while Wallace covered Robbie Neal. The other two Buccaneers collapsed down in the paint and dared the other Mustangs to shoot.

“We’d let the other two shoot until they beat us,” said Johnson.

The Mustangs’ trio combined for 33 of their 39 points while the rest of team struggled to hit wide-open shots. Jeremy Ashline missed all three of his 3-point attempts while Drew McFarren hit on just 2-of-11 attempts.

“We’ve got to knock those shots down,” said Monmouth coach Lucas Turner.

Bachelder led the way with 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Mustangs. Five of Bachelder’s rebounds came on the offensive glass as he used his strength and agility to give the visitors fits.

“He definitely outworked a lot of people on the other side,” said Monmouth coach Lucas Turner. They were definitely focused on him.”

Whitmore finished with 11 points while Neal was held to just four points.

The lead switched back and forth for much of the game with the biggest advantage being five points after Whitmore’s 3-pointer from the wing put the Mustangs up 21-16 late in the first half. Bachelder corralled a loose ball underneath with just under three minutes to play and converted it to put the Mustangs up by five again at 38-33.

The Buccaneers cut into the fourth-quarter lead when McGeady buried a 3-pointer and Armstrong sank one of two free throws to help set the stage for Judge’s heroics.


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