JETS sealed a thrilling victory at the Northgate Arena last night thanks to a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Paul Peterson.
The 23-year-old American point guard, who was making his home league debut, sent the Northgate Arena crowd into raptures with his last-gasp heroics.
It was a grandstand end to a match Jets looked like they would win easily – only for a fourth period wobble to leave them staring defeat in the face.
Jets had held an early lead and steadily increased it throughout the first three quarters – 20-16 at the end of the first, 48-39 at the half, and they took a 66-53 advantage into the decisive period.
The Lions opened the fourth with a 15-2 burst in the first six minutes, which included a trio of three-pointers from the dangerous Yorick Williams.
That saw the teams tied at 68-68. Jets scored through Shawn Myers and Colin O’Reilly before Williams missed two free-throws – his first missed shots of the game – and the teams entered the last two minutes with the Jets up 72-68.
Trips to the line for Williams and Robert Youngblood meant the Lions tied the scores at 72-72 with less than a minute remaining. With 18 seconds left, James Hamilton received a technical foul and Mike New gave the Lions the lead with 2/2 free-throws, a feat which he repeated after being fouled moments later for a 76-72 lead.
With six seconds left, Chez Marks made a three-pointer, before the Jets fouled Williams. With the tension mounting, he made 1/2 to put the Lions 77-75 up with three seconds to go.
It looked to be all over for Jets, but Peterson glided forward and bagged a majestic three-pointer – sparking wild celebrations on the home bench and in the crowd.
Marks led the home team’s scoring with 25 points, while Frank Phifer had 14.
Joint captain Calvin Davis was forced to watch the action from the sidelines after fracturing his left leg in Friday’s opening-day loss at Newcastle. He will have a scan on the injury today.