Justyn Anderson was only “lurking about” along the baseline in the final seconds Tuesday night.
That’s when the Mountain View senior struck, coming up with a defensive play to give the Saints their biggest win of the season.
Anderson stole the ball with about five seconds left in overtime, then drove more than half the court for a game-winning layup as time expired to lift Mountain View to a 79-77 win at The Meadows in a pivotal Class 2A Southern League game.
“I looked up at the clock to see how much time was left, and I thought I could get to the basket,” Anderson said. “I had to make sure because if there wasn’t enough time, I’d have to pull up somewhere.”
Anderson, a point guard, led Mountain View (8-9, 3-3) with 40 points, none more important than the final basket.
The Meadows (9-6, 3-3) had a chance to win on its final possession. But Anderson recognized the Mustangs were trying to get the ball to Garrett Gosse, who inbounded the ball with seven seconds remaining.
Anderson said he saw a double screen designed to give Gosse a look at a possible winning shot before he intercepted a pass out of the corner.
“(Anderson’s) basketball knowledge really came out in a situation like this,” Saints coach Ray LeBoeuf said. “He saw a play develop. He thinks like a coach on the floor and was able to recognize a play that was designed by a coach because he thinks that way.”
Anderson also had seven rebounds, five assists and four steals.
His heroics overshadowed those of teammate Trevor Van Kempen, who scored 16 points, including a 3-pointer from the right corner with 28 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 75 and force overtime.
Alex Capozzoli added 15 points for Mountain View, which opened the third quarter on an 18-4 run to take a 58-47 lead but couldn’t hold it.
Gosse converted a four-point play with 4:45 left in regulation to give The Meadows a 69-68 lead as Anderson picked up his fourth foul.
Anderson played the final 8:45 with four fouls, and the Mustangs couldn’t hold on for the win even with a 75-70 edge in the final 1:30 of regulation.
Gosse led The Meadows with 37 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. Austin Brown added 22 points.
LeBoeuf called the win “huge” because he didn’t want to fall in too deep a hole in a five-team race for four playoff spots.
“With a young team at 2-4 (in league), it may have been too much for us to come back from,” he said. “To get this win, I think it’s going to bolster confidence in them.”