By Matthew DeGeorge
At each timeout down the stretch of the fourth quarter Friday, the mood of Marple Newtown’s huddle was less strategic and more consolatory.
For three minutes, the Tigers had their chances to put away Upper Darby, to salt away a four-point game near the rim and at the free throw line. Instead, they left the door open for the Royals to strike back.
But in doing so, the Tigers also provided a chance to display their resilience in crunch time.
After squandering the lead with 30 seconds left, Nick Giordano fired a pass to a backdoor-cutting Jake McGee for a layup with four seconds left, and the Tigers survived Quadir Turner’s running heave from 3-point land to capture a pivotal 53-52 Central League win.
The final minute begged for someone to take control, and it wasn’t until the clock showed four seconds that the senior duo of Giordano and McGee finally did.
“I just immediately ran under the rim,’ McGee said. “Nick always finds me under there somehow. Cut to the back of the rim, had my hands up, he saw me and hit me with the pass. I did the easy part; I just had to put it in after that.’