On the final play of regulation in the Division I state championship game, Upper Arlington did
just about everything as it had been drawn up a few seconds earlier. Lakewood St. Edward, by coach
Tim Flannery?s own admission, got lucky.
Senior forward Marsalis Hamilton ? probably the last option on a well-defended play ? drained a
three-pointer in the final second to force overtime, and the Eagles went on to beat UA 62-58 in
overtime before 14,234 in Value City Arena.
A timeout had been called with 4.7 seconds to go.
?The play was designed for Tony (Vuyancih) and he wasn?t open, so he threw it to Kipper
(Nichols) and he flipped to me,? said Hamilton, who had made only 2 of 9 three-pointers all season.
?I took a dribble, created a little space for myself and let it fly. I?m not usually option
anything in that situation, but sometimes you?ve just got to shoot with confidence and believe in
all the work you?ve put in.?
With the play developing a matter of feet in front of him, Flannery sighed as Hamilton let it
?When he shot it I was like, ?Ohhhh,? then, ?OK,??? Flannery said. ?It was just an unbelievable
shot in those circumstances. I?m just in a little bit of shock right now. I don?t know how we
pulled it out.?
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Upper Arlington coach Tim Casey and his players.
The Golden Bears had just snookered the Eagles on a double inbounds pass from Danny Hummer to
Kevin Vannatta, who threw a long pass to Hummer streaking uncovered down the floor for a layup with
11 seconds left. It was 52-49, UA.
?At that point, I felt pretty good about our chances,? said Casey, adding that Hamilton?s
well-defended shot will eat at him forever.
?I kick myself for not fouling right there. We wanted to make sure Kipper or Vuyancih did not
get off a shot. We did everything right. That?s the guy we would have wanted at the foul line, too.
I don?t know what to say. We just couldn?t come up with enough big stops.?
Both teams milked their possessions in overtime, working for high-percentage shots.
With St. Edward leading 56-54, Vannatta missed a three-pointer with 46 seconds left. The Eagles
fired a quick outlet pass and got a layup by Vuyancih at the 41-second mark.
St. Edward (26-2) made 4 of 4 free throws in the final 22.5 seconds to salt away its second
title. It was the first trip to the final four for UA (27-2) since 1937. There were nine lead
changes and eight ties.
?I guess we just had kind of a lapse on defense on the final play in regulation,? Vannatta said.
?He was just too open if he was able to make it. Give him credit for making a big-time shot that
all of us dream of making.?
Nichols scored 26 points for St. Edward, which shot 61.5 percent from the field (24 of 39).
Vannatta and Hummer had 15 points each for UA, which shot 58.8 percent (20 of 34).
?Before that shot went in, I can?t describe the feeling on the bench,? UA senior guard Wes Davis
said. ?I don?t even know how that shot went in. We?re going to wonder that for a long time.?
Boys basketball | St. Edward 62, Upper Arlington 58: Near win turns into tough … – Columbus Dispatch