One of the biggest sins a team can commit in sports is to leave time on the clock for the opponent in a one-possession game.
We see it in football all the time — the New England Patriots lost to the Miami Dolphins in December in the “Miracle in Miami” because they left time enough for one play after kicking a field goal to go up five points.
We saw it in high school girls’ basketball recently, when a girl hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give her team only its second win in a rough season.
And we memorably saw it in the 1992 NCAA March Madness Elite Eight, when Duke’s Christian Laettner hit the buzzer-beater that cemented his place as the lone college player on the legendary Olympic “Dream Team” in Barcelona that summer.
And in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Wednesday night, it was that last example that the Cape Central High School boys used for inspiration, as two of them played the roles of Grant Hill and Laettner to perfection to send the Tigers’ game against Notre Dame High to double overtime:
With just 0.4 left on the clock @capecentralhigh down by two in overtime and this happens:
— Adam King (@AdamKingKFVS) February 27, 2019
With 0.4 seconds left, Caleb Oswald threw a full-court heave of an inbounds pass, which found the hands of Kinyon Hodges, KFVS-TV in Cape Girardeau reported.
Hodges didn’t have time to set and go back up for a shot; the only thing time allowed him to do was, in one motion, catch the ball, hoist it toward the rim and throw up a prayer.
And sure enough, Hodges scored.
It is always a glorious thing to see high school kids become heroes, if just for one magical moment in time.
Cape Central then pulled away and rode the momentum of the Oswald-Hodges miracle play to a double-overtime 45-44 win.
Notre Dame fell victim to the classic curse where a team, thinking it has won, has the wind taken completely out of its sails but still has to play another overtime’s worth of basketball. You can forgive the Bulldogs for being dead men walking.
Another angle on buzzer-beater shows it might not have been a buzzer-beater after all. The clock didn’t start until the ball was at the rim.
— Cayden Dannenmueller (@cayd3n_) February 27, 2019
Of course, this isn’t the NBA. There’s no replay official in Secaucus, New Jersey, to overturn or uphold the call.
And high school referees aren’t NBA refs; if it looked like the kid got the shot up fairly, that’s the call on the court for better or worse. There is no “Last 2 Minutes” report to chastise the refs.
The fact still remains that two high school teams played an old-fashioned low-scoring Midwestern basketball slugfest — the game was tied at 39 after the first overtime — and two kids’ combined heroics gave everyone who saw it a night to remember.
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