“Big” and “Rhode Island” are not normally two concepts that go well together. After all, you can drive across America’s smallest state in half an hour if you’re lucky enough not to hit traffic on Route 6.
But Pat Shea of East Greenwich High School gave the Ocean State a Texas-sized moment Sunday in Warwick.
Shea made a buzzer-beater to give the Avengers the Rhode Island Division II state championship against Narragansett High School.
See for yourself the shot that broke the 54-all tie and decided the game:
PAT SHEA AT THE BUZZER: Pat Shea hits a bank three-point heave at the buzzer to lift East Greenwich to the Division II title over Narragansett Sunday, 57-54. WOW! @ABC6 @ISteeleABC6 @goavengers1 @EGHSPrincipalRI @MrCobainEGHS #SCTop10 pic.twitter.com/9Fv25uVhqv
— Nick Coit (@NCoitABC6) March 3, 2019
Narragansett had this one defended perfectly. The big kid wearing No. 22 was all over the inbounder. No. 5 came under the screen and got a hand right in Shea’s face as the shot went up.
The ball went in anyway, and befitting the name of the state capital, East Greenwich got some divine providence.
Even better than the result was the fact that this was a huge upset; East Greenwich came in as the 10th-ranked team, while Narragansett was ranked No. 1, according to WPRI-TV.
“Cinderella is always a better thing than being the favorite,” coach Don Brown told the Providence station. “Had everything to gain and nothing to lose. No pressure.”
Shea told WPRI about his experience.
“I saw it was going to bounce off the backboard first,” he said. “So I was hoping to get that lucky bounce, and I did.”
We won’t ding him for not calling “bank” on the shot.
For the Avengers, this was the school’s first state title since 1991, long enough ago that the players on that team are likely older than some of the 2019 squad’s parents.
Here’s another view:
Pat Shea with the buzzer beater! Unbelievable! pic.twitter.com/iKcjj60Yif
— East Greenwich News (@egreenwichnews) March 3, 2019
From that angle, you get a good look at the pandemonium that ensued as students, parents and friends came together in the glorious mosh pit of joy that is a stormed court after a game-winning shot.
East Greenwich is not a recruiting hotbed. These kids won’t be going on to a one-year stopover in college before heading to the NBA.
But unlike those kids in 1991, whose championship was unknown outside of Rhode Island high school basketball circles, Pat Shea got to have to the whole internet watch.
Which, for a high school kid in this day and age, is pretty darn cool.
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