Zach Bloch’s buzzer beater lifts Bishop Seabury past Veritas
photo by: Carter Gaskins
The saying “play like you practice” rang true for Bishop Seabury Academy sophomore Zach Bloch in a home matchup against Veritas Christian on Friday.
Roughly one week after drilling a buzzer beater to end a scrimmage during practice, Bloch found himself in a similar situation Friday night with the Eagles trailing the Seahawks by 2 with four seconds left. Bloch caught the ball on the wing, took one step-back dribble and elevated for the game-winner to lift the Seahawks to a 51-50 victory.
“In practice, coach (Jonathan Raney) pushes us hard every day and makes us take game shots,” Bloch said. “When it counts, then we make it.”
Bloch made it easy for Seabury coach Jonathan Raney to decide who to draw up the final play for. The buzzer beater capped off a 14-point fourth quarter for Bloch. The Seabury sharpshooting sophomore drained three of his five 3-pointers in the fourth and finished with a game-high 22 points.
“All credit to Zach because he stepped up and hit a big shot,” Raney said. “He made me look good, that’s for dang sure.”
The Seahawks (7-1) took a 25-17 lead going into the locker room thanks to a balanced offensive effort and more importantly, contesting a majority of the Eagles’ shots. Bloch netted 8 points before the break to lead the Seahawks, but he was also finding Luke Hornberger and Miles Branch down low for high-percentage shots. Branch and Hornberger finished with 12 and 6 points, respectively.
“All five guys on the court are weapons,” Bloch said. “Anyone can score at any given time. We just like to move the ball and get it to the right person.”
While Raney was pleased with his team’s defensive effort in the first half, the Seahawks struggled to make shots and keep Veritas (11-4) off of the free-throw line in the third quarter. The Eagles made three trips to the line in the first two minutes and 15 seconds of the third quarter to whittle away at the Seahawks’ halftime lead.
“We talked about isolating and getting to the rim at halftime. The kids did a good job of executing,” Veritas coach Carl Huslig said. “In the first half, we were just stagnant. We didn’t move the ball on offense and we just stood around and let them dictate everything. In the second half, I thought we dictated the game.”
The Eagles outscored the Seahawks, 14-4, in the third quarter. Veritas took its first lead since midway through the first quarter with 46.4 left in the third period when senior Trey Huslig nailed a go-ahead trifecta.
Prior to Bloch’s big shot, Trey Huslig looked like he was going to be the hero when he converted a traditional 3-point play with 23.4 remaining. The senior guard was the Eagles’ go-to player down the stretch after Tucker Flory (11 points) rolled his ankle with 2:18 to go. Trey Huslig scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in the second half.
“Trey is our gamer. When it comes down to the fourth quarter, he’s going to make plays,” Carl Huslig said. “He’s done it his whole career. It hurt not having Tucker, but I think everybody stepped up. Trey is just a winner.”
Veritas will look to bounce back against Lawrence High’s junior varsity team Monday before turning its attention to the Spring Hill tournament.
Seabury will try to keep rolling at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday against Baldwin in the Baldwin tournament.
Stavian Jones 3-9 0-0 7, Joao Carlos Ramirez 1-5 0-0 2, Zach Bloch 7-15 3-3 22, Chris Green 0-3 2-4 2, Miles Branch 5-11 2-2 12, Luke Hornberger 3-6 0-2 6, Jett French 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 19-50 7-11 51.
Trey Huslig 6-13 7-10 21, Reed Wilson 1-3 0-0 3, Jackson Rau 1-4 0-0 2, Will Rau 3-8 2-2 9, Scott Weinhold 1-2 2-2 4, Ethan Bernet 0-0 1-2 1, Tucker Flory 4-9 3-6 11. Totals: 16-39 15-22 50.
Seabury 12 13 4 22 — 51
Veritas 10 7 14 19 — 50
3-point goals: Seabury 6-21 (Bloch 5, Jones 1); Veritas 4-8 (Huslig 2, Will Rau 1, Wilson). Turnovers: Seabury 7, Veritas 10. Fouled out: None.