WALLA WALLA - Spencer Cordeiro's buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the left corner accounted for the last of his team-high 14 points and lifted the DeSales boys basketball team to a 52-50 victory over Odessa-Harrington Tuesday night during the opening round of the D.A. Davidson Christmas Classic at Sherwood Center.
"I'd have to say it was never a better time to make his first jump shot of the game," Irish coach Allyn Griffin said of Cordeiro's game-winning shot. Cordeiro spent most of the game in the low paint where he scored his other five baskets.
An Odessa-Harrington mental mistake with 3.1 seconds remaining allowed it to happen.
The Titans had the lead and possession of the ball. But after a timeout, the Titans player attempting to inbound the ball from under the Irish basket moved along the baseline and was charged with traveling. And that turned the ball back to DeSales.
And it set the stage for the hero, Cordeiro, to get the inbounds pass and hit the jumper right at the end of regulation.
DeSales had just one other player score in double figures, Tommy Gregg with 10 points. Victor Mata and Sean Williams each scored nine points and Nick Wales finished with seven points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
"We had a balanced scoring attack," Griffin said, "and that is the way we are going to be. We don't have a bona fide leader in scoring. We have to have a lot of people who do a lot of contributing."
The Titans opened the game by scoring seven unanswered points. But the Irish came charging back with a 15-8 run that tied the game at 15-15 going to the second quarter.
DeSales outscored O-H 12-8 in the second quarter and led 27-23 at the half. Mata hit two 3-pointers to pace the Irish in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, the Irish increased their lead by two points with a 15-13 advantage in the stanza. Cordeiro completed a three-point play the old-fashioned way with a bucket and free throw and also scored on another hoop inside.
DeSales led by six, 42-36, after three quarters and increased its advantage to eight before the Titans used a 12-3 run to take a one-point lead, 50-49, with 3.1 seconds to play.
Then came the mental error and Cordeiro's heroics.
"We played against a good team," Griffin said. "They really played well. They were fast on defense and we didn't execute on offense all game long like we should and could have. Give credit to them, and us, for a good game."
DeSales evened its season record at 3-3 and plays University Prep tonight at 7 in a semifinal game.
DeSales 52, Odessa-Harrington 50
DESALES (52) - Cordeiro 6 1-4 14, Mata 3 0-0 9, Gregg 3 2-2 10, Wales 2 3-3 7, Haen 0 1-4 1 , Williams 3 3-5 9, Fazzari 1 0-0 2. Totals - 19 10-18 52.
ODESSA-HARRINGTON (50) - Hunt 6 1-1 15, Weber 2 1-2 5, King 3 0-0 6, Sperline 2 0-0 4, Larmer 3 0-0 7, Sanford 3 0-0 5, Hatten 0 1-2 1, Smith 2 0-0 5, Tanke 1 0-0 2. Totals - 22 3-6 50.
DeSales 15 12 15 10 - 52
Od-Harrington 15 8 13 14 - 50
3-point goals - DeSales (Mata 3, Cordeiro), O-H (Larmer, Smith, Sanford). Total fouls - O-H 14, DeSales 9. Fouled out - O-H (Sperline). Rebounds - DeSales 28 (Wales 10), O-H 24 (King 8). Turnovers - DeSales 16, O-H 11.