Daniel Plummer wasn’t a starter for Agassi Prep’s boys basketball team for the majority of the season.
But the freshman forward was the hero for the Stars on Friday night.
Plummer drained the go-ahead shot with six seconds remaining, and visiting Agassi Prep survived a frantic finish to earn a 60-59 win over The Meadows before a standing-room-only crowd.
Plummer had a game-high 23 points for the Stars (13-5, 10-3 Division III Southern League), who remained a game behind second-place Mountain View in the loss column and dealt The Meadows (21-2, 12-1) its first league loss.
“They’re a great team over there, first and foremost,” Agassi Prep coach Trevor Diggs said. “Even in the first game we played them at home, we were in the game. Knowing that we could play with them, compete with anybody, it just showed my team has a lot of character. They came in and brought the fight to them guys.”
The Meadows led 59-58 after a putback basket by Max Hisatake with 1:17 remaining before a thrilling final 30 seconds. Jared Holmes had his shot blocked by Hisatake with about 20 seconds remaining, and after a scramble for the rebound, the ball eventually worked its way to Plummer.
Plummer then knocked down a pull-up, 15-foot jumper from the left elbow to give Agassi Prep a one-point lead.
“We just inserted him into the starting lineup about a week ago,” Diggs said. “He can attack the basket, and we weren’t getting that from our other starter, so we needed somebody aside from Akeemis Williams who could put the pressure on the defense. He’s got a great upside.”
The Meadows threw a long pass to get the ball across halfcourt and called timeout with five seconds left. Holmes deflected Hisatake’s pass, but the ball bounced back to Hisatake, who then tossed up a quick shot that hit the right side of backboard.
The rebound fell to the Mustangs’ Jake Epstein, but his putback just before time expired hung briefly on the rim before falling out.
“The ball bounced in for us; it bounced out for them. That’s how the game goes sometimes,” Diggs said. “But we put ourselves in position to win the game. That’s all I ask my guys, to compete every game. I know we’re young, but I expect the team I coach to compete all the time.”
Najeeb Muhammad made four of Agassi Prep’s eight 3-pointers and finished with 14 points.
Epstein led The Meadows with 21 points, and Hisatake bounced back from early foul trouble to finish with 14 points, 18 rebounds and four blocked shots.
The teams traded runs in the first half, as the Mustangs used a 17-2 run in the first quarter to take control early before Agassi Prep answered with a 15-0 spurt early in the second quarter and led 37-31 at halftime.
Plummer’s three-point play put the Stars up 45-36 midway through the third quarter, and there were eight lead changes in the fourth quarter — neither team led by more than one point in the final 6:38 — before Plummer’s game winner.
“It’s a big win for us,” Diggs said, “but we have a way larger picture that we want. We want to get down to state and compete for a state championship.”
Contact reporter David Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ