WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The Somers High School boys basketball team erased a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to stun Iona Prep in the final second, 59-58, at the Slam Dunk Tournament on Thursday in White Plains.
Conor Cousin hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer, his third of the final minute, to shock the Gaels. All nine of his points in the game came on those threes from the same spot in the left corner.
Iona Prep’s Matt Ryan missed his second free throw with 4.6 seconds left, Max Parks grabbed the rebound and handed it off to John Decker, who scored 39 of Somers’ 59 points. Decker pushed the ball to half court, saw Cousin in the corner and fed him the ball for the game-winner.
“I knew John was going to be doubled the whole time in the fourth quarter,” Cousin said. “So I knew I was going to be open.”
Somers trailed, 50-35, with 5:30 left in the fourth quarter but battled all the way back for the win thanks to a barrage of three-pointers.
Decker’s 39 points were the second-most in Slam Dunk tournament history. The senior had all 17 of Somers’ points midway through the third quarter. He earned MVP honors for his performance.
When Decker got the ball after Ryan’s missed free throw and started to dribble, Cousin figured his teammate would be the hero.
“I thought Decker was going to take the last shot. I mean, why wouldn’t you? He had 39 points,” Cousin said. “But once I saw him release the ball to me, I knew I had to put it up because I didn’t have enough time.”
Decker said the final play was for him to dribble down the court and assess the situation. If he had been open, he would have taken the shot. But Cousin was in his sweet spot and Decker recognized it.
“He loves the corner spot,” Decker said. “All he does is go there and practice, and that’s what he did. He just knocked it down. I knew he was going to be there.”
Cousin’s shot gave Somers an incredibly impressive win over a local powerhouse, a fact with which Decker struggled after the game.
“It really still hasn’t hit me yet,” Decker said. “They’re Iona Prep. We’re Somers. No one knows Somers. So it’s just a great feeling.”