On Wednesday night, 18 years after Boyle's team lost in the first round of his first Classic, the veteran coach learned he finally would return home to the Garden State a champion.
St. Patrick defeated Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton 69-67 on a buzzer-beating, 3-point basket by Lane in capturing the 38th Annual State Farm City of Palms Classic in front of a packed crowd of about 2,100 fans at Bishop Verot High School's John J. Nevins Gymnasium.
St. Patrick, ranked No.11 in USA Today's Super 25, improved to 4-0. Boyle improved his Classic record to 24-10.
With five seconds remaining, Lane helped accomplish what nine previous St. Patrick teams could not.
The 6-foot senior guard, who had not attempted a shot all game, realized he could not get the ball inside to 6-foot-9 senior forward Michael Gilchrist.
Gilchrist scored 25 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked five shots, all game highs. He was
named the Classic's Most Valuable Player.
St. Patrick senior Derrick Gordon, who signed with Western Kentucky, scored 20 points.
"I can't put it into words," said the University of Kentucky-bound Gilchrist, standing next to his mother, Cynthia Richardson. "Do you have anything to say, mom?"
Richardson expressed her pride in her son, who then added praise for Lane, who later described his shot.
"It was a set play, and it broke down," Lane said. "I was confident enough to take the shot. I'm just happy for the team. We're finally taking home the trophy."
Milton, a team loaded with at least five future Division I players and ranked No. 15 in USA Today's Super 25, fell behind by 13 points in the first half before rallying to a 57-57 tie with 4:30 remaining. There were nine lead changes in the game's final four minutes.Senior Shannon Scott, a future Ohio State Buckeye, scored 17 points and had seven rebounds had four assists. Julian Royal, a future Georgia Tech forward, scored 20 points and had seven rebounds. The defending Georgia state champions fell to 10-2 this season and will continue toward their goal of winning another state title under coach David Boyd.
"We fought," Boyd said. "We fought with everything we had."
Boyle said he figured Milton must have forgotten to defend Lane, who delivered the inbounds pass on the final play to senior guard Chris Martin before receiving the game-winning assist. Boyd was well aware that Lane had not taken a shot until the last one.
"You've got to give him credit for stepping up and making that shot," said Boyd, who became the first coach from Georgia in 19 attempts from 15 different schools to take a team to the Classic's title game.
Milton (67): Shannon Scott 6-14 5-11 17, Jordan Loyd 3-10 0-0 7, Evan Nolte 5-12 0-0 12, Dai-Jon Parker 4-10 0-0 8, Julian Royal 7-13 5-8 20, Kevin Kornegay 0-0 0-0 0, Shaquille Johnson 1-1 1-4 3, Eric Riley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-60 11-23 67.
St. Patrick (69): Jarrel Lane 1-1 0-0 3, Austin Colbert 0-0 0-0 0, Chris Martin 3-9 0-2 7, Michael Gilchrist 10-16 5-7 25, Derrick Gordon 6-22 7-8 20, Trevis Wyche 0-0 0-0 0, Hakim Saintil 0-1 0-0 0, DeShawn Suber 2-2 0-2 5, Dakari Johnson 3-5 3-4 9. Totals 25-56 15-23 69.
3-pointers: Milton 4-13 (Loyd 1-3, Nolte 2-4, Parker 0-3, Royal 1-3). St. Patrick 4-13 (Lane 1-1, Martin 1-, Gilchrist 0-2, Gordon 1-5, Saintil 0-1, Suber 1-1). Rebounds: Milton 31 (Scott, Royal 7), St. Patrick 34 (Gilchrist 12). Assists: Milton 10 (Scott, Loyd 4), St. Patrick 12 (Lane, Martin 3). Turnovers: Milton 9, St. Patrick 10. Blocks: Milton 6, St. Patrick 6 (Gilchrist 5). Steals: Milton 8 (Scott 4), St. Patrick 8 (Gordon 5). Personal fouls: Milton 13, St. Patrick 19.