[Sean King for Shaw Media]
From there, madness unfolded. Buzzer-beaters, though, aren't uncommon for North-East games – specifically in recent memory.
"Two years ago here, JT Ford hit a buzzer-beater on our home court against North. Last year, I hit one to beat them," Hardy said. "This year, same thing. History repeats itself, man. Coach [Pat] Woods said: 'If the ball is loose, we steal it and the shot goes up. We're gonna steal it and shoot it. Sure enough, that's what happened."
East (10-6) took control 36-24 into the half, but North's Ludwig, Dal Degan and King kept North afloat with the Saints struggling from the field and mustering two points – both free throws – from Hardy, while North (10-7) took a 39-38 lead into the final quarter.