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Buzzer-Beater Jumper by Kimble-Gray Sends Huskies to Next Round

Buzzer-Beater Jumper by Kimble-Gray Sends Huskies to Next Round

by Cerwin D Haynes


(photos by Stephen Morales and Chris Nunez)


It's often said that you look to your best players to make winning plays in the game's most critical moments. In the last 24 seconds of ELAC's CCCAA playoff game vs Ventura College, the Huskies faced enough critical moments to last a whole game. And in those critical moments, it was their captain, lead guard and sophomore Delilah Kimble-Gray who rose to the occasion.


Coming out of a VC timeout, the Pirates inbounded the ball to PG Kenya Edelhart. After using some clock, she made her move as she was guarded by Kimble-Gray. Edelhart drove into the paint, but Kimble-Gray rolled with her and timed her jump perfectly to block Edelhart's potential go-ahead layup. The ball would land out of bounds but still in Pirate possession, and longtime Ventura head coach Ned Mircetic called another timeout with 3.3 seconds left to draw up another play on offense...


Except the Pirates never got the chance: when G Sofia Torres-Reyes received the inbound pass, her foot stepped on the far sideline and the ref whistled her out of bounds. The clock read 1.7 seconds left, but after a brief discussion, the officials decided to add .8 seconds to ultimately give the Huskies 2.5 seconds to inbound the ball in their frontcourt and get a shot up. That .8 would loom large: conventional wisdom says that 1.7 seconds is only enough time to catch the inbound pass and shoot the ball immediately, while 2.5 seconds theoretically allows a player to catch the inbounds pass, take one dribble and quickly gather themselves for a shot.


Huskies head coach Bruce Turner - ever the tactician - called two 30-second timeouts to get the play he wanted.

"It was supposed to be a lob," coach would say after the game, indicating that the play was to pass the ball into the paint area to find a Husky streaking towards the basket. Key word: "supposed".

Destyni Heard, the inbounder on the far-side of the court, didn't see the movement she needed to make said pass. Instead, she found Kimble-Gray a few feet away. The captain caught the pass, took one dribble towards the basket, gathered herself to rise up and fired a somewhat off-balance 17-foot shot that she somehow created the space to get off.


Nothing but net. And nothing but zeroes on the clock. Ballgame: Huskies.


Cue the wild celebration on the court as Kimble-Gray was mobbed by not just her teammates but some of the men's basketball players as well.



  • The game was nip-and-tuck throughout; the lead seesawed between the teams multiple times, and ELAC's largest lead at any point of the game was only five points.
  • Neither team shot well: East LA shot 23-71 (32.4%) while Ventura shot 21-68 (30.9%).
  • Kimble-Gray and Naomi Winston-Ellis shared game-high with 14 points apiece while netting double-doubles (11 and 10 rebounds, respectively). Destyni Heard scored 13 while Isabel Arango netted 12.
  • Aliya Contreras suffered a left knee injury in the second quarter. Her status for Saturday is unknown.


The Huskies advance to the Sweet Sixteen - they will face #3 SoCal seed Moorpark on Saturday evening (time TBA). The Raiders advanced today by defeating Mt. San Jacinto 72-59.

ELAC faced Moorpark back on December 29th during the Okawa Classic. The Huskies missed a game-tying jump shot at the buzzer to lose to the Raiders 42-40.