MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ross Barker sank a jumper at the buzzer Saturday to give DeLaSalle a 57-56 overtime win over Minneapolis Washburn in the Class 3A state championship title game.
“It was like slow motion,” DeLaSalle forward Reid Travis said. “It was kind of like the movies. You could just see the ball spinning, and it went in. It was unbelievable.”
It was a familiar shot for Barker.
“I was just so confident in that 15-footer on the baseline,” Barker said. “I practiced it all year. Yeah, there’s things that go wrong in a game, but you can’t let that get in your head.”
Joseph Doby’s driving layup gave the Millers a 56-55 lead with 10 seconds left before Barker took a pass from Tyler Moore. Barker nailed the winning jumper from just inside the 3-point line.
“He hasn’t missed that shot all year,” said Moore, who appeared to have a lane to the basket after taking the ball upcourt, but chose to pass to Barker. “I knew he had it.”
Barker was overrun by a mob of teammates at center court when the shot went through. Moore pounded his chest in front of the DeLaSalle (26-6) fan section. It was the Islanders’ (26-6) seventh state championship and first since 2006.
“Barker had turned the ball over a couple times, but I kept telling him, ‘Be strong. You’re going to get another 15-footer,'” DeLaSalle coach Dave Thorson said. “I’ll admit I didn’t think it was going to be to win the game, but it was. It was a senior to a senior. That’s the way it’s supposed to be in a game like this.”
Washburn’s Dwight Anderson had a chance to give the Millers the lead with 3.3 seconds left in regulation, but missed two free throws.
Doby made two free throws to give the Millers a 54-52 lead with 1:05 left in overtime.
Islanders junior guard Luke Scott hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to put DeLaSalle back up by one.
After Trey Shepherd missed a free throw that would’ve extended the lead, Doby went the length of the floor for his go-ahead layup.
Travis was positioned for a tip-in under the basket when Barker made the shot that sent his teammates into a frenzy. Travis, whose brother Jonah plays college basketball at Harvard and just played in the NCAA tournament, led DeLaSalle with 20 points and 18 rebounds.
Scott added 12 and Shepherd added 10.
Doby finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds for Washburn. Anderson had 10 points.
DeLaSalle led 34-33 at halftime. The pace picked up in the second half, but so did the defensive intensity. Baskets were tough to come by.
They were tough to come by for Barker too, but he managed to hit the most important one.
“The big games are five possessions. We call them winning plays,” Thorson said. “Obviously, that last shot is a winning play.”
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