Anthony McIntyre pulled up in the paint in the final minute of the game and shot a fadeaway jumper that found nothing but net.
The Saugus senior’s second-half heroics were a large part of Saugus snapping a 10-game series losing streak to Hart with a 73-72 victory Tuesday night at Hart High.
“I haven’t beaten Hart before, so I wanted to come out and get this win,” McIntyre said.
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Ben Kaufman kept three-time defending Foothill champion Hart (10-7 overall, 0-1 in league) alive in the fourth quarter, hitting a 3-pointer and scoring off a steal as part of a 7-4 run that left the Indians trailing 69-67. He finished the night with 27 points.
McIntyre’s jumper in the final 30 seconds, as well as his two game-sealing free throws, gave him 25 points for the game, and ensured that a Hart final-second trey had the host team trailing by one in the end.
The Indians weren’t always behind, though.
Hart took a 46-44 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter, but allowed an 11-2 Saugus run, fueled by six McIntyre points, to give the Centurions (11-4, 1-0) a 55-48 lead heading into the final frame.
“They’re champions, we knew they were going to make a run,” said Saugus coach Bill Bedgood. “We got back in the game by playing the way we play.”
Saugus’ Zach Phipps scored 11 of his 26 points in the first quarter that ended with Saugus up 21-15.
Trailing 25-15 in the second quarter, Hart’s Tre Harrill scored four points in a 6-0 run, and the Indians headed into halftime down 36-33.