Coughlan Hits Game-Winning Shot in 2OT, Sends Hoosac to State Final

By Stephen Sports
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Hoosac's Jameson Coughlan scored with 1.6 seconds left in the second overtime to give the Hurricanes a 54-52 win.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- A team that specializes in games decided by one possession, that won a sectional championship when its opponent's last-second 3-pointer rolled around the rim and out, the Hoosac Valley boys basketball team knows a thing or two about drama.
But this was off the charts.
Three different buzzer-beaters determined the outcome of Wednesday's Division 3 State Semi-final between the Hurricanes and the Uxbridge Spartans. The first went against the 'Canes, the next two sent Hoosac Valley to Saturday's State Championship game.
Jameson Coughlan scored on a baseline inbounds play from Austin Milesi with 1.2 seconds left in the second overtime to give Hoosac a 54-52 win over Uxbridge at the MassMutual Center.
Coughlan scored 27 points, including seven of Hoosac's 12 points in OT and all four points in the second overtime to send the Hurricanes to Saturday's state championship game against Old Rochester at the DCU Center in Worcester.
"We drew it up, but it wasn't necessarily going to me," Coughlan said of the final shot. "Javon [Reynolds] did a great job clearing out the middle like he was supposed to, and Austin made a great pass. I had pretty much an easy jump shot."
Actually, Coughlan had to muscle the ball up in traffic from about six feet with no time to spare.
"I was close enough to the basket that I have to make that, and I did," the junior center said.
For a moment at the end of regulation, it looked like Coughlan was going to have the winning shot without having to go to overtime.
Colin Rousseau set up Coughlan for a hoop with 9.6 seconds on the clock to give the Hurricanes (17-7) a 42-40 lead.
Uxbridge (18-5) got the ball into the front court and called timeout with 5.6 seconds showing on the clock.
The Spartans inbounded James Cafrey at the top of the key with his back to the basket. He took two dribbles, nearly lost the ball between two defenders and turned for a jumper that went off the right side of the rim.
Cameron Gallagher tried to tip the ball in, but his attempt went off the other side to Daniel Lanoue (15 points), whose shot was good. Replays later suggested that the clock expired with the ball in Lanoue's hands, but the basket counted, and the teams went to OT.
In the first overtime, Caffey hit both ends of a one-and-one with 6.3 seconds left to give Uxbridge a 50-47 lead.
Hoosac inbounded to Matt Koperniak, who found a wide open J.P. Levesque on the left wing. The sophomore guard took the pass and put up a 3-pointer to tie the game with buzzer-beater No. 2 and give Hoosac a shot to win it in the second OT.
After the teams traded empty possessions for more than two minutes in that OT, Coughlan was fouled trying to put back an offensive rebound with 1 minute, 32 seconds on the clock. He sank both foul shots to give Hoosac a 52-50 advantage.
The teams then traded turnovers before Lanoue put back a miss in transition to tie it with 45 seconds left.
Hoosac misfired on its first shot, but Koperniak (15 points) grabbed a looseball rebound near the foul line to reset the shot clock. Then Uxbridge managed to tip the ball out of bounds over the baseline with 1.2 on the clock, setting the stage for Coughlan's heroics.
"[Coughlan] was the first and last option," Hoosac coach Bill Robinson said of the winning play. "That's the way we drew it up. We just told him to make a shot. All we told him to do was make a shot.
"He's a tough-minded kid. We could have quit a few times, but we just don't go away. We're just learning how to win games now. We're young. We're still juniors. It's pretty amazing right now."
Hoosac has just two seniors on its 13-man roster: Milesi and Nate Tomkiewicz.
Koperniak and Coughlan are both juniors, as Reynolds and Avery Hall, who came off the bench to provide two assists and a steal in the second half.
Hoosac went into half-time down 21-13 after struggling on the offensive end but limiting Uxbridge's scoring opportunities.
"Of the 21, [Ryan] Morais hit two 3s, and they had a couple of putbacks," Robinson said. "We told the kids, you take away the 3s, and it's a 15-13 game, so we had to tighten up. We didn't do a great job tightening up; he still had some shots.
"But we did a heck of a lot better, and obviously we moved the ball better in the second half. And we got more aggressive. Koperniak got more aggressive driving, and Avery Hall did a nice job coming into the game and driving and dumping off some passes."
In the third quarter, Coughlan scored seven points, and Koperniak had five. The Hurricanes closed the quarter with a 6-0 run that ended when Hall set up Milesi. His basket gave Hoosac its first lead since it led 6-5 and sent the 'Canes into the fourth quarter with a 29-27 advantage.
Hoosac led most of the fourth, going ahead by as many as five (38-33) when Hall fed Coughlan with about three minutes left. Uxbridge used a 3 and a free throw on separate trips from Cameron Gallagher to tie the game at 40-40 with 1:05 on the clock.
The 'Canes missed a shot on their ensuing trip but got it back on a Milesi rebound, which led to Coughlan's go-ahead shot with 9.6 seconds left in regulation.
Hoosac Valley will return to the state championship game for the third time since 2003. The Hurricanes lost in '03 and '09. Old Rochester of the South Sectional is 22-3 after beating Pentucket, 63-49, in the North-South state semi-final.
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