Leave it to Indiana to provide America with the comeback of the season. The state that brought us the real life story that inspired "Hoosiers," a state with a basketball obsession more pronounced that it overshadows everything else in state folklore and politics, has now given us a 29-point fourth-quarter comeback practically ripped straight out of a Hollywood script.
Yes, you read that correctly. One Indiana high school wiped out a massive 29-point deficit in a single eight-minute quarter. The miraculous act was turned in by Aurora (Ind.) South Dearborn High against St. Leon (Ind.) East Central High. As RivalsHigh affiliate HickoryHusker.com and the Indianapolis Star reported, the final score was 55-54, with South Dearborn scoring 32 of those 55 points in the fourth quarter, when the Knights held a 32-2 edge in scoring. Thirty-two to two!
"It had to be a perfect storm," first-year South Dearborn coach Rick Shumate told the Star. "Everything had to go right for us. …
"Things started happening. We were making shots and getting steals and they missed some free throws."
The Knights scored the final 30 points of the game, shutting down East Central with a full-court trapping defense featuring a five-guard lineup at a time when even a single bucket would have likely sunk South Dearborn's comeback.
The ferocious fourth-quarter rally set a state record for largest single-quarter comeback, but it also ranked second all time on the state books for largest comeback in any quarter.
Yet the comeback is made even more incredible when you consider the prior 2011-12 season meeting between the two squads; when East Central hosted South Dearborn on Dece. 2, the Knights lost by a score of 72-39.
From a 33-point loss to a miraculous one-point victory thanks to a fourth-quarter eruption. That is some turnaround, particularly for a school which had won only a single game all year before its Friday night miracle.
"I've seen some rallies in 18 years of coaching, but nothing like that," Shumate told the Star. "The amazing thing is that we were able to sustain it for that long and follow through on it."