By Tom Robinson
MANHEIM – Kieran Burrier never did score in Saturday’s 59-57 JB Hoops Callahan victory over Middlesex Magic White in the Hoop Group Summer Jam Fest at Spooky Nook.
Burrier just made sure JB Hoops got the ball and the shot it used to win the game. And, he took care of making sure Middlesex did not get one last shot at pulling out the win.
The hustle shown by the rising senior from Holy Cross was big in allowing JB Hoops to pull out the win after letting an 11-point halftime lead get away.
Burrier was moving away from the basket when he won the race to track down a long rebound with just under a minute to play and the Magic ahead, 57-56.
As his momentum carried him away from the basket, Burrier never looked to score. Instead, he turned and found Brennan Higgins on the left wing.
“I saw Brennan and I knew he was wide open,” Burrier said.
Higgins, who was also scoreless to that point, buried the 3-pointer that proved to be the game’s final points.
“He had been shooting the ball really well in practice the last month,” coach Bill Callahan said of the senior from Pittston Area. “That was a really big shot that he made.”
Burrier made it all possible.
“Burrier had a couple big offensive rebounds,” Callahan said. “He forced a timeout with a steal on the other end.
“We did a pretty good job blocking out and securing the rebounds.”
Burrier, the shortest player on the JB Hoops roster and the shortest on the floor in most situations when he played, led the team in offensive (three) and total rebounds (four).
“I’ve gotten more physical and I’m crashing the boards more than I usually do,” said Burrier, who combines playing point guard with mixing it up inside at times in his first season playing with the JB Hoops national squad.
After combining with Higgins to put JB Hoops ahead, Burrier finished strong.
Burrier dove and appeared to have a tie up for a turnover on the alternate possession when Middlesex managed to get a timeout and preserved possession with 41.9 seconds left.
The Magic were unable to get a shot, however, coming out of the timeout when Burrier drew an offensive foul away from the ball.
With the Magic needing one more foul to send JB Hoops to the line, Burrier made a tough running catch of an in-bounds pass with 4.3 seconds left and took off away from the defense, dribbling out the remainder of the time on the clock.
JB Hoops Callahan finishes up at the Summer Jam Fest at 8 a.m. Sunday with a game against PTT Elite Blue.