In the final game of the 2010 calendar year, Twin Valley South (Ohio) High faced off against Preble Shawnee (Ohio) High for the title of the latter school's annual holiday basketball tournament. While the homesteading Arrows would walk away with the year-ending win, the play of the tournament -- and one of the plays of the year -- was turned in by a Twin Valley South player at the end of the first quarter.
As you can see in the clip above, provided by the shooter himself, Twin Valley South guard Austin Groff was trying to move the ball for a final shot along the left perimeter as the final seconds of the championship game's opening period ticked away. Instead, his pass was deflected, sending the ball toward the midcourt line, where Groff tracked it down with his back facing the basket.
[Rewind video: College freshman sinks half-court shot from his knees]
That's when calls of "shoot it!" started to come from the Twin Valley South sideline. With no time to think, Groff tossed up an almost ludicrous, two-handed backwards heave toward the basket ... and hit it.
Amazingly, Groff's coach didn't dwell on the miraculous shot after the loss, instead reflecting on what he saw as positives in a narrow, 61-58 loss.
"We definitely did what we were trying to do," Twin Valley South coach Tony Aupsberger told the Eaton Register-Herald. "After being down nine going into the fourth, we had a great run, and that is where, in the first three games, my team has blown up and mentally gone awry. But they didn't do that against Shawnee.
[Rewind video: LeBron nails an underhand mid-court swish]
"We gave them too many second chances and free points. We made just enough mental errors against their pressure, and we have to be better at the line."
Maybe the Panthers could have been better at the free-throw line, but they hardly could have been better at half court.
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