SAN JOSE -- Sacred Heart Cathedral's David Parsons practices length-of-the-court shots at lunch.
He said he never makes them.
Friday night, in the quarterfinals of the Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs at Piedmont Hills High, Parsons made the one that counted. He picked up a loose ball and banked in a 70-foot shot at the buzzer to stun Half Moon Bay 49-46.
"It was just lucky," Parsons said moments after a wild celebration. "The shot was lucky."
Sacred Heart Cathedral advances to play Archbishop Mitty, an 84-51 winner over Santa Cruz, in the semifinals Tuesday at Independence.
The miracle finish began with Half Moon Bay taking the ball inbounds with 12.3 seconds left. The Cougars' E.J. Madriga got the ball past midcourt and dribbled through the lane as the clock ticked down.
Madriga lost the ball near the basket, and Parsons picked it up, dribbled and let it fly. The ball arched through the air, hit the backboard and swished through the net.
Sacred Heart Cathedral, which trailed by 13 points in the first half, celebrated madly as stunned Half Moon Bay players looked on.
"It was a heck of a game," Half Moon Bay coach Rich Forslund said. "We didn't get quite lucky at the end there."
Sacred Heart's Deondre Otis tied the score 46-46 with 13 seconds left on a short jumper, and his coach, Darrell Barbour, immediately called timeout.
"We're going to call timeout no matter what the score was there -- if the game was tied or if we were up," Barbour said. "I'm just a firm believer of having a team play against a set defense."
But little did Barbour know his team would get the last shot.
"The thing that was impressive with David on that shot -- and as soon as he made it, I told one of the coaches -- is he didn't panic," Barbour said. "You see pros do it. They'll get the ball, and it's like they've got the shot clock in their head and just throw it up there. He took his time. It showed a lot of poise for a kid that age. He didn't rush. That was the beauty of it to me, just the fact he didn't panic."
Sacred Heart, coming off a gut-wrenching loss to Mitty in the West Catholic Athletic League tournament final Saturday, didn't panic in the first half when Half Moon Bay came out on fire, hitting shot after shot en route to a 26-13 lead. Half Moon Bay led 29-22 at halftime and still led 36-35 going to the fourth quarter.
Omari Brown's 3-pointer with 7:30 left gave SHC its first lead of the game, 38-37. But Half Moon Bay regrouped and had a 46-44 lead and the ball with under a minute to play. But a shot-clock violation gave the ball back to SHC, which tied the score on Otis' shot and won on Parsons' miracle.
"Thank God it went in," Parsons said.
Archbishop Mitty 84, Santa Cruz 51: A year after barely beating a team from the Santa Cruz area in the quarterfinals of the CCS Open Division playoffs, No. 1 Mitty had no trouble. Santa Cruz was unable to duplicate Soquel's near-miss, falling 21 points behind at halftime. Ben Kone had 14 points and Dakari Monroe 12 to lead Mitty.
St. Ignatius 56, Eastside College Prep 44: Destiny Graham had 20 points and eight rebounds, but Eastside Prep was unable to overcome a 10-point halftime deficit in a loss at Christopher High-Gilroy. St. Ignatius got 12 points each from Janessa Manzano and Sydney Raggio. It will play Tuesday against Scotts Valley, which beat Mitty 67-64. Kelli Hayes had 30 points for Mitty. "We turned the ball over too much, bottom line," Mitty coach Sue Phillips said. Pinewood and Sacred Heart Cathedral also advanced in Open play.
Palo Alto Daily News and Santa Cruz Sentinel contributed to this report.