Walker’s buzzer-beater lifts ’Cats past Eau Gallie

Jennifer Garrido, Lifestyles Editor

Video Credit: Dillon Thompson

Junior Aaron Walker sank a 3-point shot as time expired to lead the varsity boys’ basketball team to a 50-49 victory against Eau Gallie on Friday night, bringing its record up to 8-13.

“We knew it was going to be a good game, and we thought we could win,” junior Adam Kline said. “Everyone was so excited when we won, and I’m so proud of Aaron Walker.”

Coach Tony Riopelle recalled the last seconds of the game.

“We were tied at 45 seconds,” Riopelle said. “Then the referee called a blocking foul on us and after Eau Gallie made two free throws, we were down by 2. Kline gave the ball to [senior Will] Dawson to tie it again at the 30 [second mark]. Eau Gallie scored again at seven seconds. Aaron didn’t get the ball until five seconds. He dribbled up the court, about 20 feet away from the basket, took a 3 and made it.”

Walker provided additional details.

“Colten [Cormier] in-bounded the ball to me, then I took the ball up the court, crossed some kid, pump-faked him, then stepped through and shot it,” Walker said.

Riopelle recounts why Walker’s shot was so crucial.

“It was great on Aaron’s part, because he kept track of how much time was on the clock. That’s actually something most players have a hard time with,” Riopelle said.
 Walker added that he contemplated whether he should pass or shoot the ball.
“At first I was gonna pass it up to Adam or Dex [Wilborn]. Then I realized we didn’t have enough time, so I decided to take it myself. I felt like Dwayne Wade or Lebron James.”

Riopelle savored the victory.

“I was really happy for the kids that we won,” he said. “They deserve a big win because they work as hard as anybody. Eau Gallie is a much bigger school, so it was important that we win. We’ve come up short against Fort Pierce and Westwood, so it was about time we get one.”