Garrett Williamson waited until the last 0.2 seconds to put in his most important basket of the game.
Williamson finished off a circus of a play as the London Lightning took a 2-0 series lead on the Windsor Express, winning 106-105 at Budweiser Gardens on Mother’s Day.
Down by one, Doug Herring Jr. drove to the basket with 12 seconds to play. His shot went high off the glass and bounced off the rim to Williamson, who threw up a contested shot that didn’t make it to the net. Juan Pattillo caught the ball that was destined to go out of bounds, and threw it back into the hands of Junior Cadougan, who found his way just inside the key and lifted a hail mary that rattled around, pessimistically. Williamson picked himself up off the ground from his earlier miss, flew in, and feathered the ball into the basket.
Anthony Criswell was the first to run off the bench. Joel Friesen helped tackle Williamson to the ground. Royce White jumped on the scorer’s table.
Despite a dismal second half, the Lightning managed to muscle out the win.
“We made some incredibly, ridiculous mental errors based on our rules and our laws in certain coverages that were mind boggling,” said Coach Kyle Julius.
But, Julius said, they managed to find a way to win.
“Our guys fight. I knew there was time on the clock. (Herring Jr.) attacked at the right amount of time, he didn’t wait too long to attack,” he said. “There were a few guys that came in and carried everybody.”
London led by 15 points at halftime. They took advantage of Windsor’s poor shooting, 4-22 in the first quarter.
Williamson ended with a game high 32 points. Royce White added 18 points, 13 of them coming in the fourth quarter. He also had 10 rebounds for a double-double. Shaquille Keith was a Lightning killer, managing 26 points.
“I got scored on in the play before so I was pissed off,” Garrett Williamson said. “Came down, i think I got a piece of it, fell out of bounds and saw I had time to get back up then I tipped it in.”
“They are relentless — they’re gonna keep coming at us, we just need to have answers for them.”
The series will now shift to Windsor for Game 3 and Game 4 on Thursday and Saturday. Game 5 is scheduled for Tuesday, May 23 at Budweiser Gardens.