When the game was on the line Friday night, Bellarmine Prep sophomore guard Malachi Flynn answered the call several times against the Gig Harbor boys basketball team.
Flynn led the Lions with 20 points, hitting a 3-pointer with under a minute to go to give the Lions a three-point lead, and hitting a jumper on the next possession to put Bellarmine up four.
The Tides had one last shot, down by three with 14.5 seconds on the clock, but sophomore guard Sam Gagliardi's 3 rimmed out and the Lions went on to win 55-51 in front of a packed Gig Harbor gym.
“In the first half, my shots weren't falling, but I knew they would fall in the second half so I kept shooting and they went down,” Flynn said.
Flynn said the team embraces big crowds and hostile environments.
“We like playing in a big crowd,” he said. “We like when the fans come out. We just stayed focused on our game plan.”
Bellarmine coach Bernie Salazar praised the sophomore's cool demeanor and clutch shot making.
“He made a lot of clutch shots,” Salazar said. “I'm very proud of him.”
Tides coach Billy Landram said the play to give Gagliardi an open 3-pointer worked perfectly, but the shot just didn't fall. Gagliardi led the Tides with 18 points.
“We just took one of our regular set plays, and kind of just ad-libbed a little bit because we had to throw it inbounds,” Landram said. “It worked perfectly, we got a wide open three. He was on fire the first half, so that's who we wanted to shoot the ball.”
The win gave the Lions a season sweep of the Tides.