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Charlotte school loses after player scores uncontested layup on own basket in final seconds

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Of all the strange ways to win a game, none can compete with how the Norcross (Ga.) High boys basketball team pulled off a victory in late January: It won after an opponent hit an uncontested layup on his own basket with just 11 seconds remaining.

As you can see in the video above, as dug up by the always terrific Awful Announcing, Norcross had no business defeating Charlotte (N.C.) Christian School in the 2012 Hilton Invitational. If anything, it was amazing that the Blue Devils had clawed their way back into the game after trailing by as much as 52-44 in the fourth quarter.

Yet full-court pressure can do amazing things to the minds of teenagers, including confuse them about which basket they're scoring on when a loose ball squirms free and goes out of bounds. When that happened with approximately 15 seconds remaining in the Hilton Invitational game, what followed was an inbounds pass to Charlotte Christian player Ryan Potocnik, who cleanly handled the pass, drove to the hoop and laid in the ball uncontested and began to trot up the court with his arms raised as if he'd just sealed the game.

Instead, he had accidentally given Norcross a 58-57 lead with just 11 ticks on the clock. Charlotte Christian teammates raced back down the court to inbounds the ball and got the ball in time to call a timeout and set up a final possession. Unfortunately for Charlotte Christian -- and especially for Potocnik -- a miss and subsequent Norcross free throws following a Charlotte Christian foul cemented a 60-57 Norcross victory in one of the most bizarre finishes you'll ever see.

Even the announcers were confused by the turn of events. First, they noted that Potocnik had caught a huge break when the ball slipped out of bounds to keep him from scoring on his own basket. Then, when he did score on his own basket seconds later, they seemed almost confused about what that meant.

As it turns out, what it meant was that Charlotte Christian would lose a game in which it was in the driver's seat with fewer than 15 seconds remaining, a harsh reality for any high school squad to come to grips with.

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