Boys Basketball: Adam Samaha’s buzzer-beater beats Saline in thrilling finish

It was one of those gotcha – gotcha back moments.

The Saline boys’ basketball team appeared to come from behind to tie the game and send it into overtime when Romeo Love drove down the lane and hooked in a tough running shot just before the buzzer went off. And the buzzer clearly went off.

But while the Hornets were celebrating the shot that tied it up at 45-45, the referees were putting 2 seconds back on the clock as the River Rats managed to get in a time out just in time.

So, hold the phone – and hold overtime – at least for 2 seconds.


The River Rats inbounded the ball to Adam Samaha, who found time to dribble and then let one fly from the other side of mid-court – nothing but NET! The Huron players stormed the floor in a wild celebration to a wild finish in an SEC Red Division showdown between two strong basketball teams.

Samaha’s triple gave the home team a 48-45 win – in a game the River Rats didn’t exactly bring their best. But, sometimes, not your best is still good enough.

Samaha, a senior guard with a smooth jumper, led the River Rats with 13 points. He knocked down four triples, including two big ones in the fourth quarter.

Junior Braylon Dickerson converted two triples in the first half and finished with 11 points. Percy Bates and TJ Bell each scored seven. Freshman Macari Moore had six points and Enkidu Anthony had four points for Huron.

Love led the Hornets with 17 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Braden LaRusso and Josh Koch each scored 13 points. Nick Boettger (two points) was the only other Saline player to reach the scorebook.

Saline led for most of the opening quarter before a triple by Bell gave the River Rats their first lead at 9-7. The first quarter ended with Huron leading 9-8.

The River Rats picked things up in the second quarter. A triple by Dickerson made it 13-9 and then a three-pointer by Samaha gave Huron a 16-9 lead with 3:43 to play in the half. With 45 seconds to go, Bell knocked down a triple to make it 23-16 at the break.

Huron didn’t score a two-point field goal in the first half. All their points came on three-pointers and free throws.

A triple by Bates gave Huron a 28-20 lead and then a three-pointer by Samaha gave the River Rats a 31-20 lead with 5:12 to go in the third quarter. A tip-in just before the buzzer by Boettger cut Huron’s lead to 34-28 after three.

The Hornets battled back in the fourth quarter. After a triple cut it to 37-31, Koch converted a three-point play to make it 37-34 with 5:46 to play. Huron’s Moore hit a running floater in the lane to give the River Rats a 41-34 lead with 3:15 to play.

But Saline kept coming. A three-point play by Love cut the deficit to 41-39 with 1:55 left in the game. A layup by LaRusso tied the game at 41-41 with 1:35 on the clock.

Samaha hit a three-pointer to give the River Rats a 44-41 advantage before Love answered with a basket inside to make it 44-43 with 41.8 seconds left in regulation.

A free throw by Samaha gave Huron a 45-43 lead with 41.8 seconds left. It looked as if Huron had things under control when Bell made a great defensive play with a steal in the lane with 11.8 seconds left. But the junior missed both free throws leaving the door open for Love to tie it up.

But it wasn’t tied for long.

before Love tied it up and Samaha untied it at the buzzer.

Huron faces Dexter on Friday in another tough SEC Red Division game.


WLAA Insider: Huron’s Samaha gives honest appraisal of his team’s “embarrassing” play