Lindenwold's Tajamir Brown (5) dribbles the ball up court as Lindenwold coach Randy Conley, Jr. directs his players during the basketball game played at Audubon High School in Audubon, New Jersey on Thursday, February 8, 2024. Lukas Guerrier/D2 Sports Network
AUDUBON - Leading by 18 points at one point in the first half, the Lindenwold High School boys' basketball team eventually found itself tied with Audubon, 58-58, with under three seconds left in regulation.
In need of a clutch basket, an unlikely hero emerged with a rebound, and a second-chance layup fell through the net from the hands of that hero, Ben Flahn, as he drew a foul.
Flahn's free throw attempt to complete the three-point play was unsuccessful and rebounded by Audubon. Following a timeout, the Green Wave were unable to get a clean inbound pass and time ran out as Lindenwold held on for a 60-58 triumph in a Colonial Conference Patriot Division showdown on Thursday night. The victory spoiled Audubon's opportunity to clinch at least a share of a division title for the first time since the 1960s.
Flahn has only played three games this season as a late addition to the team. No game has been bigger than this one for the senior.
"I just wanted to get the rebound," Flahn said. "As soon as I got the board, the first thing in my head was just to go back up with it. I didn't know what to think when it went in, I just got hype in the moment."
Lindenwold jumped out to a 7-0 lead and was in command early on. The Lions maintained a double-digit advantage for a majority of the first half.
Audubon used an 8-0 run in the third quarter to get within single digits and cut the deficit to four points by the start of the fourth quarter.
The Green Wave took their first lead of the night on a three-point field goal from the corner by Liam Nixon after a block by A'Zon Young on the other end of the court. The lead was short lived as at least four different lead changes took place in the final three minutes of regulation.
On the final possession, Lindenwold's Tajamir Brown came up short on a drive to the basket before Flahn delivered. Brown led all scorers with 38 points in the victory. The senior averages a South Jersey-best 25.6 points per game, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He has 1,047 points over the past two seasons and has placed his stamp as one of the best players in the Colonial Conference and South Jersey.
"I'm just aggressive driving to the basket," Brown said. "My confidence in my shooting ability is probably the biggest factor into being able to score at any level."
Lindenwold is currently 16th in the South Jersey Group 2 power-point standings with the cutoff on Saturday. Consecutive wins have been a rarity all year for coach Randy Conley Jr.'s team, but with back-to-back wins over Woodbury and Audubon, the Lions are beginning to hit their stride at the right time.
"We're starting to click at the right time," Conley said. "I gave my guys the speech from Any Given Sunday given by Al Pacino. 'Inch by inch. We're going to keep fighting inch by inch.'"