Isaiah Freedman senior sports consultant
Boys varsity won the closest game of the season, beating Crossroads 50-47 thanks to a clutch three-point buzzer beater by guard Jason Mehraban.
The narrative before the game centered on Ron Artest (son of Laker Metta World Peace) facing off against Shareef O’Nea (son of former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal)l, and that story contributed to a packed crowd, as well as Ballislife and Ballervision filming the game. However, with O’Neal only pouring in four points, the game was all about the final minute.
The teams were locked in a tight battle for the entire game, with no lead growing larger than five from both sides. With 13 seconds to go in the game, the Normans led 47-44, with Crossroads advancing the ball.
Crossroads guard DJ Houston, with only six seconds remaining, was fouled shooting a three-pointer, then sunk three high-pressure free throws to even the score. Beverly ball, no timeouts left, needing a bucket. Guard Daniel Zahabian raced up the left sideline then flicked it to the left corner into Mehraban’s awaiting hands.
A perfect ending to an uneven game. Mehraban was struggling before the shot, scoring no points until he splashed in the game winner.
“Jason does what he always does and he knocked the shot down, man,” coach Jarvis Turner told Highlights after the game. “He was having trouble getting a clean look all game, but he hit the only shot that mattered. A huge shot, very important shot.”
Guard Kevin Cho took a fall early in the fourth quarter and had to be carried off the court. After the game, though, Cho was in great spirits, adamantly insisting that he did not get crossed over.
“I’m doing fine. I just want everyone to know, that I did not get crossed up,” Cho laughed.
The game featured “overrated” chants directed at O’Neal, a fun halftime contest between two fans and of course, the final play.
“I was not hitting anything all game,” Mehraban said after the emotional shot. “But my moment finally came!”
- Cheer took the night off since it was not officially a league game and I was told by some of them that they enjoyed viewing the game from the crowd’s perspective
- This shot went unnoticed since it occurred before the game-winner, but forward Grant Gaon’s three-pointer to increase the lead to four with a minute left in the game was huge
- Ron Artest had another dominant night on defense, as well as displaying a nifty behind-the-back move that led to an easy layup for the big man
- On the final play, Zahabian made the right call passing to Mehraban. Many players would have forced the shot, but Zahabian smartly deferred and the result was a W
- Crossroads had two ESPN top 100 players in O’Neal and senior Ira Lee. Beverly had none. The win exemplified that teamwork always emerges victorious
- The crowd storming the court was a great touch to a fantastic ending