An exciting buzzer-beater helped Trinity Meteors continue their excellent start to the season, as the still-new side overcame a strong Ulster Elks side 58-57 to earn a fourth win in five games in Division 1 of the National League.
Meteors lost the initial toss up, but regained possession from the Elks and opened the scoring with a free throw. The hosts subsequently dominated both offensively and defensively for much of the first half, leading by nine points at the close of the second quarter.
The visitors, however, came out the stronger of the two teams after the half-time team talk, showing their capabilities in the third quarter and narrowing the gap to just eight points at 45-37. In the fourth, after several three-pointers and free throws, they levelled matters at 52-52 with only minutes remaining. With tight defensive and aggressive attack, the Elks had put three points between the teams with 30 second to go.
Meteors, however, not about to be beaten in their own backyard, landed two free throws in the last five seconds of the game and, with one point in the difference and two-and-a-half seconds on the clock, regained possession again.
The gymnasium went silent as both teams huddled up, after Trinity called a timeout. With the scoreboard reading 57-56 in the visitors’ favour, Elks knew they needed to defensively lock down, while Meteors were in need of a minor miracle.
They got it. A subtle pass found Simone Hobdy, whose effort, racing the clock, snuck inside the rim and sank into the basket. With the home fans in dreamland, Meteors walked off with Hobdy the hero of the hour.
The win means Trinity sit top of the Northern Conference in the National League. After tasting defeat against Phoenix Rockets 10 days ago, the players will take satisfaction from the manner in which they bounced back this weekend, and from the character and doggedness they showed with the clock firmly against them.