A closer look at Moultonborough's comeback
The top-seeded Moultonborough Academy boys basketball team faced its largest second-half deficit of the season Friday night with is season on the line in the Division IV quarterfinals. An 8-2 third-quarter run had No. 8 Epping ahead 34-27 with a little over 10 minutes left in regulation. Here are the key plays and every basket of MA's season-saving comeback:
Marcus Swedberg ends Epping's run with a straightaway 3-pointer. MA trails 34-30 with 2:11 left in the third quarter.
Swedberg (21 points) misses a 3-point attempt and Epping's Jacob West turns the rebound into a fast break. West finds teammate Brandon Carleton for a layup. Epping leads 36-30 with 1:40 left in the third.
Swedberg carves out space in the low post, fights through a double team and scores off the glass, plus a foul. He misses the free throw, pulling MA within 36-32 with 1:23 left in the third.
MA's Mike Donahue is fouled in the low post. He makes both free throws with 16 seconds left in the third, and Moultonborough trails Epping 36-34 entering the fourth quarter.
MA goes right back to Swedberg on the low block, and he converts 1:28 into the fourth quarter to tie the game, 36-36.
Epping executes a back-screen and lob to star sophomore Jimmy Stanley. Stanley catches and scores off the glass. Epping leads 38-36 with 5:50 left.
Swedberg is fouled in the low post and goes 1 of 2 from the free throw line. Epping still leads 38-37 with 4:53 left.
Epping senior Paul Holmes comes up with a steal and is fouled. Holmes hits the front end of a 1-and-1, misses the second, and pushes Epping's lead to 39-37 with 4 minutes left.
Marcus Swedberg comes up with a steal, and teammate Nick Sindorf (12 points) scores his first field goal since the second quarter. His 6-foot jump shot falls to tie the game 39-39 with 3:32 left.
Donahue picks up his fourth foul with 3:26 to play and reserve John Fownes heads to the scorer's table. But MA coach Matt Swedberg pulls Fownes back to the bench, and Epping's Frank Stanley misses the front end of a 1-and-1. Donahue managed to finish the game without fouling out and coach Swedberg never used a sub.
MA point guard Drew Swedberg, still looking for his first points, draws a hand-check call and heads to the line for a 1-and-1. He hits both free throws and MA leads for the first time since the first quarter, 41-39, with 2:49 left.
Marcus Swedberg comes up with a big block in the post, but Epping's Frank Stanley gobbles up the loose ball and scores from a tough angle to tie the game, 41-41, with 2:15 left.
MA finds Marcus Swedberg in the low post and Epping is called for a reach-in on the double team. Swedberg drills both free throws. MA leads 43-41 with 1:42 left.
Marcus Swedberg stretches out to deflect an Epping interior pass. MA comes up with the turnover, and Drew Swedberg is fouled on his way to the basket. Drew hits the front end of a 1-and-1, misses the second, and MA leads 44-41 with 1 minute left. Epping calls a timeout.
Epping's Jimmy Stanley attacks the rim from the wing, but the shot doesn't fall. Donahue appears to come up with the defensive rebound in traffic, but the officials blow the whistle for a jump ball, and the possession arrow favors Epping. Epping calls a timeout with 33.3 seconds left.
Given a second life, the Blue Devils try to get Jimmy Stanley open for a game-tying three. But Marcus Swedberg fights through a series of screens to pressure the perimeter, and Stanley instead drives to the basket. Stanley is fouled from behind, but the slow-developing play leaves just 9.7 seconds left. Stanley misses the first free throw and salvages the second. MA leads 44-42.
Epping pressures MA's inbounds pass, but Donahue lobs the ball deep across the court to Marcus Swedberg down the right sideline. Swedberg catches the ball and is immediately fouled with 7.7 seconds left. Swedberg knocks down both free throws to make it a two-possession game, 46-42.
Epping pushes the ball up court and West streaks to the rim for an uncontested layup. Epping still trails 46-44, but with less than 3 seconds left, MA allows the clock to expire before inbounding.