Player: Jeremy Little, Altoona
Opponent: Pittsburgh Central Catholic
Date: Saturday, March 14, 1998
Site: IUP Memorial Field House
Setting the scene: Altoona, at 20-8, trailed 24-4 Central Catholic virtually the entire game — including a 63-53 deficit midway through the final period — in the PIAA Class AAAA western semifinals. Down 69-68 with 18 seconds left, the Lions got the ball to senior leading-scorer Aaron Morris.
The shot: Morris worked nine seconds off the clock before passing to senior Mike Carney on the wing. Carney bypassed the shot and threw it into the left corner to Little, a backup junior guard who played just 24 minutes during the regular season. Little’s shot from 3-point range with 2.3 seconds left in front of the Altoona bench was good for a 71-69 Altoona victory.
Mirror excerpt from Sunday, March 15, 1998: At basketball playoff time, some of the most unlikely heroes emerge. Enter Jeremy Little. —Bob Larson
(To view the entire original articles from this game, go to altoonamirror.com.)
—Little: “The senior group that year [included Morris, Carney, Matt Durbin, Vince Nedimyer Jr.] was remarkable. They had success in football, basketball, and it continued to track and baseball. It was great just to have a chance to be a part of it.’’
—Art Taneyhill, coach: “Jeremy had hardly played. We put him in there in the final seconds, and he hit the shot that put us in the western final.’’
—Nedimyer: “Jeremy was the type of kid who frustrated you at practice because he worked so hard. It was pretty neat to see him hit that shot because it finally paid off for him.’’
Aftermath: After Little was paraded around on fans’ shoulders, the Lions went to the western final and lost to powerful New Castle, 68-48. Little, his wife Ashley and 4-month-old daughter currently live in Daphne, Ala. He works for Honours Golf Management and is the club manager and head PGA professional at Rock Creek Golf Club in Fairhope, Ala., where recent players included Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning.
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