Buzzer beater lifts Starpoint girls basketball to first sectional title in 29 years

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — In less than a second, the Starpoint Spartans made history.

Megan Milleville’s turnaround basket with .5 seconds to play won the Spartans the Section VI Class AA title 48-46 over Clarence on Sunday afternoon at Buffalo State University. The victory gave Starpoint (21-1) its first sectional title since 1995 when they were in Class B2.

“I haven’t had a game-winner like that, I’ve never done that,” Milleville said of her championship-winning shot. “It felt like a dream.”

The shot of championship Sunday came on a below-the-basket inbound play after a missed 3-pointer deflected off a Clarence hand and out of bounds. Ava Anastasi lobbed the ball up to Milleville who was rolling off a screen in the paint, and the center threw up a one-handed turnaround shot that banked off the glass and in to send the Starpoint contingent of Buffalo State into an uproar.

“I was like, ‘just go, just roll off the screen and just put it up,'” said Milleville, who scored Starpoint’s last six points and led her team with 17. “You got .5 seconds, and see what you can do, and it worked out perfectly.”

The Spartans looked well on their way to a title at halftime, as they led 28-18 after a dominant second quarter. However, the Red Devils (19-5) hung around until the final buzzer. While trailing 42-36 late in the fourth, an Ella Corry 3-point play and an Emily Glaude pull-up 3-pointer in quick succession tied the game at 42 a piece. Corry finished with a game-high 21 points for Clarence.

Milleville responded with a 3-point play of her own to make it 45-42, before Lia Meichenbaum knocked down a triple on the other end to tie the game again with 40 seconds to go.

Starpoint has been dominant in most all their games barring a blowout loss to the area’s top team Cardinal O’Hara and a three-point victory over St. Mary’s, meaning the Spartans haven’t had to play many clutch minutes. They won their previous two playoff matchups by an average of 33.5 points heading into the championship.

This time, though, that inexperience didn’t make them blink.

“I’ve always talked about our mental capacity and just being able to be mentally tough within the game, and I really think they demonstrated that today,” Starpoint coach Megan Reed said. “We held down where we needed to on defense and then when we had one chance opportunity, we capitalized.”

The Spartans advance to the Far West Regionals with their win victory, where they will play Section V’s Hilton at 8 p.m. Friday at Finger Lakes Community College.

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Adam Gorski is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team in 2022. You can find more of his work here.

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