Maybe Amir Coffey was just tired of playing overtime basketball. Whatever the case may be, the Minnetonka (Minn.) Hopkins High sophomore forward drilled a stunning 60-foot buzzer-beater to send the Royals to Minnesota's Class AAAA state championship game after four overtimes.
Ranked as the No. 21 recruit in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, Coffey was just 1-of-9 from the field before taking an inbounds pass with 2.2 seconds left against Shakopee (Minn.) and delivering a 49-46 state semifinal victory at the Target Center, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
"There is not much you can do with a halfcourt shot," Coffey told the paper. "You have to throw it up and hope for a prayer. I just heaved it up and hoped to God it would go in."
While a four-OT state semifinal that ended in a buzzer-beater may sound like a great basketball game, this was apparently a snooze-fest until Coffey's heroics, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Because Minnesota prep basketball doesn't feature a shot clock, Hopkins -- a team that reportedly averages close to 90 points -- idly ran out as much as four minutes of clock at the end of regulation and each of the first three overtimes as Shakopee remained in a zone that had held the Royals in the 40s.
Hopkins wasn't exactly the underdog, either. The state's top-ranked team already has six state titles to its name since the turn of the century. In fact, Coffey's shot wasn't the first stunning buzzer-beater Royals coach Kenny Novak Jr. has seen in such a situation. In 2005, Blake Hoffarber's from-his-back heave forced overtime in the second of those six championship games and ultimate resulted in an ESPY Award.
"That was close to the Hoffarber play a few years back, man," Novak told the Pioneer Press. "He got rid of that thing. That is basketball."
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