Sunday, March 6, 2016
By Frank Workman
It was everything a State Championship basketball game is supposed to be.
Back and forth, nip and tuck, rock 'em, sock 'em, well-played basketball between two evenly matched teams.
The sort of game that, had it lasted another twenty seconds, could have seen a different outcome.
In the end, when the clock showed all zeroes, the Clarkston Bantams defeated the Shorecrest Scots 60-59, to win the 2A Boys State Championship Saturday at the Yakima Sundome.
Daggy Menelik gave the Scots a 56-54 lead with just over two minutes to play, only to have tournament MVP Trevon Allen tie the score at 56 with a jumper of his own.
When Daggy sank a tough, twisting layup with 1:43 left, Scots' fans hoped that would be the dagger. Instead, the nearly unstoppable Allen coolly drained a 3-pointer to put Clarkston up by one, 59-58, with forty seconds left in the game.
Time out Scots.
When they absolutely, positively had to have a basket, Coach Brian Fischer drew up a play to get the ball to sophomore Philip Pepple in the low post. Pepple, a 6' 7" man-child, got the ball as planned, turned to the hoop, and was fouled while shooting.
Pepple made the first, to tie the game at 59, but missed the second.
Time out Bantams, with eleven seconds to go.
With everybody in the building knowing the ball would be put into Allen's hands, the Scots had athletic senior Aubry Victor guard him. Allen, an Idaho recruit, fired up a long shot with Victor covering him like a blanket - too closely, to the official's liking.
Victor was whistled for the foul with two seconds remaining on the clock. Allen missed the first free throw, made the second to break the tie, then missed the third shot. With no time outs remaining, the Scots desperation shot from 85 feet wasn't close.
After the game, Coach Fischer told the press how proud he was of his team.
"They fought hard all post-season. We had our backs against the wall a few times and we always found a way to win. We were just one play away from winning it all. It hurts right now to come this close, but as time goes on, the months and years will go by and they'll have so much to be proud of. The journey has been a heck of a lot of fun".
Allen, who was one of three Bantams to play the entire game, finished with 30 points. Clarkston was 10-for-21 from three point range.
Pepple, who made the All-Tournament team, was virtually unstoppable, scoring 21 points on 10-for-15 shooting. Senior Tobyn Lawson, headed for Cal Baptist next year, scored 13 points in his final game.
The Scots finished the season with a mark of 19-9, while playing most of their games against 3A competition. The champion Bantams posted a 25-1 mark.
Clarkston 9 21 16 14 60
Shorecrest 13 16 16 14 59