Sheboygan (Wis.) Area Lutheran High senior Sam Dekker sure picked a heck of a way to finish his high school career.
With an unlikely state title on the line in his team's Class Division 5 state final against Racine (Wis.) Lutheran High and just seconds remaining, Dekker did it all. As documented in detail by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, trailing by two points, Dekker first took an inbounds pass and cut upcourt left-handed, eluding Racine Lutheran star Ty Demuth. When fellow Racine defender Neko Graf tried to cut the forward off he dropped the defender with a quick crossover and kept pushing up court.
Before any other Racine defenders could stop him -- and just before Demuth and Graf cornered him again -- Dekker exploded toward the 3-point line, came to a jump stop and fired up a deep three. When the ball swished through the net, Sheboygan Lutheran had earned a stunning 67-66 upset thanks to a comeback from an eight-point deficit in the final 1:10 of the game.
"The timeout before, I said I'm not going to tie this game," Dekker told the Journal Sentinel. "I'm just going to hit [a 3-pointer]. So I came down and I did it."
Of course, Sheboygan was only in position to win the game because of Dekker's earlier heroics. The senior finished with 40 points just one day after being named Wisconsin's Mr. Basketball. Among those 40 points were 18 of his team's 25 points in the final quarter, including the last 12 in the last 48.5 seconds.
While Dekker is almost certainly headed for more greatness in the future at the University of Wisconsin, he and his father -- Sheboygan Area Lutheran boys basketball coach Todd Dekker -- were more than happy to live in the moment of the dramatic conclusion to the younger Dekker's prep career.
"I couldn't ask for anything more, the way it ended," Sam Dekker told the Journal Sentinel.
His father was even more emphatic with the paper.
"If I was a basketball fan watching that, it'd be, 'Wow! That's high school basketball,' " said Todd Dekker, Sheboygan Lutheran's coach and father of Sam. "It's a storybook finish, and I feel like this is a dream. But don't wake me up."
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