By Phil Anastasia
Alex Barr said the Eastern basketball team works on last-minute situations regularly in practice.
How often does it work as well as it did Saturday against top-ranked Holy Spirit?
"Never," Barr admitted with a smile.
Barr drove coast-to-coast and dished to Matt Klinewski, who made a layup as a buzzer sounded to give Eastern a thrilling 50-48 win over Holy Spirit at the Jeff Coney Classic at Rancocas Valley.
Barr took the inbounds pass with 5.5 seconds on the clock, drove the length of the court, got in the lane and shoveled a pass to Klinewski.
Klinewski banked in a shot, then raced down the court in celebration when he saw a referee make an emphatic "It's Good" motion.
"Perfection," Klinewski said of the Vikings' execution. "Alex made a great pass."
The win was huge for seventh-ranked Eastern (10-2), which had lost two in a row, including a disappointing setback to rival Cherry Hill East on Thursday.
"We had a great practice Friday," said Barr, who finished with 18 points.
Klinewski scored 25, tying the game at 48-48 with a putback basket with 1:13 on the clock.
No. 1 Holy Spirit (9-3) lost its second in a row.
"Weren't good enough," Holy Spirit coach Jamie Gillespie said of his teams. "There are too many times when we don't play hard."
Holy Spirit had possession with the score tied, 48-48, took a pair of timeouts and ran the clock down below 10 seconds. But Eastern's Logan Edwards took a charge on a bang-bang call with 5.5 seconds left.
On the play, Holy Spirit appeared to take the lead but the basket was waived off by the charging call.
"We won the game on a charge and a pass," Murphy said.
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