We're only a couple of weeks into the new high school basketball season, but there have already been a few early contenders for shot of the year. None, however, carry with them the drama and fortune of this amazing half-court heave, which landed Roseville (Minn.) High a surprising, 58-57 season-opening win over Totino-Grace (Minn.) High last week.
What happened at the end of Roseville's victory was a bit of skill and strategy and a whole lot of luck. Totino-Grace was milking a 57-55 lead with just 2.8 seconds on the game clock and an inbounds pass forthcoming. After a timeout, Roseville placed its tallest player -- 6-foot-2 leading scorer and South Dakota State-recruit Megan Stuart -- on Totino-Grace's inbounding passer. Facing the lengthy Stuart, the Totino-Grace inbounder settled for a baseball pass, which was deflected by Stuart and fluttered into the hands of Roseville guard Emma Schaefer.
With a Totino-Grace player charging back towards her, Schaefer slipped and sent the ball across to the one Roseville player near her, point guard Jaclyn Poss, who caught the pass with 1.1 seconds left some three feet behind the mid-court circle. With no time for anything else, Poss juggled the pass then fired up a desperation heave of a 3-pointer which, wouldn't you guess, hit nothing but net on its way through the hoop for a dramatic game-winner.
"I just couldn't believe it happened. I mean, it all happened so fast," Poss told FSNorth.com. "I just remember telling myself never to give up. We had two seconds left. I made it and I was just like, 'Whoa, did that really happen?' It was a lot of fun."
Amazingly, the deep three wasn't the first of Poss' young career, either. The sophomore has been a member of the Roseville varsity team since eighth grade and also connected on a buzzer-beating half-court shot heading into halftime of a game during her first season with the program.
The shot stunned almost everyone in attendance -- just listen to the reaction of the community TV play-by-play announcer, who may need a vocal chord-scraping after that call -- yet it didn't shock Poss' coach.
"[The shot was] Fantastic," Roseville coach Jeff Crosby told FSNorth.com. "She's the type of kid who will make those type of shots. She makes something good happen."
This time, Poss made a season-opening victory happen, even if it did come in one of the most unlikely ways possible.
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