Moore scored with two seconds left as Caledonia edged Leicester 84-83 at PlaySport on Sunday evening.
Kimbal MacKenzie had the chance to sneak the visitors over the line, but his attempt missed the mark.
Patrick Whelan led the winners with 24 points.
Caledonia Gladiators starting five: Ian Dubose, Prince Onwas, Patrick Whelan, Lukas Palyza, Fahro Alihodzic.
Leicester Riders starting five: Miryne Thomas, Xavier Pinson, Caleb Asberry, Jaren Holmes, Braelen Bridges
With the main talking point being Whelan’s first game against his old club, the question was how he would approach the game.
The answer was aggressive. The Great Britain international hit an awkward jumper from the top as the shot clock expired, along with getting to the foul line as the Gladiators built up a 24-16 cushion with 3:08 left in the first.
But the Riders fought back, and a 12-2 finish to the quarter, highlighted by a four-point play from Conner Washington, stole the lead from the hosts.
Washington was able to connect on two three-pointers in the early stages of the second, as Leicester kept their stranglehold on the game.
However, Caledonia were threatening and, despite trailing for most of the second period, finally tied things up at 44-44 on the half-time horn as Clifton Moore Jr. connected.
Moore’s buzzer-beater ignited a flame within Caledonia as they came out the blocks on a 12-2 stretch, capped by a triple from Lukas Palyza that saw them lead 58-48.
Riders were unable to execute offensively as they were in danger of fading away. Under adversity, Leicester hit back as Caledonia were defensively caught napping and as the third quarter concluded, Blake Bowman was able to hit to narrow the gap to 67-63.
The fourth quarter was nip-and-tuck with the biggest lead for either team only being three points and emotions pouring.
It was all about who could hold their nerve when it matters
Whelan got the crowd of 1,200 on its feet with a
three-pointer to give the Gladiators an 82-81 lead with 30 seconds left, only
for MacKenzie to answer with a pull-up jumper.
The stage was then set for Moore – who only had one field goal at the time – to shine. And he delivered.
Bowman led Leicester with 15 points.
Player of the Game
Against his old club, Patrick Whelan put the Riders to the sword with 24 points and was able to grab today’s Player of the Game.
|Caledonia Gladiators||Patrick Whelan||24||5||4|
|Caledonia Gladiators||Lukas Palyza||18||1||5|
|Leicester Riders||Blake Bowman||15||2||3|
|Leicester Riders||Xavier Pinson||14||2||1|
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