February 14, 2011
The gym erupted like the team just won a championship on the final basket, but there was just one problem: the school lost. It didn't seem to matter for West Salem (Ore.) High, which fell to rival North Salem High on Friday by a 56-44 score, because it left with one of the most memorable plays of the year, and did it on the final play of its final rivalry game.
The player you see bringing justice to the North Salem rim in the clip above from the Portland Oregonian is West Salem sophomore Alex Roth, who finished with six points in the loss. Needless to say, none of those buckets were nearly as memorable as Roth's last, where he finished off a rebound with a dunk that separated the rim from the backboard ... and sent glass tumbling to the court.
The finishing basket sent the visiting West Salem fans in the stands behind the broken basket into delirium, with fans and teammates of Roth rushing onto the court. A pair of North Salem school officials then ran onto the court in an attempt to clear the invading West Salem fans off the court -- both for their own safety and that of the referees, who slowly walked off the hardwood after taking a glance at the rim.
Amazingly, because Roth's dunk went through just at the conclusion of regulation time, the officials didn't even have to entertain the possibility of needing to install a quick replacement rim.
The dunk might not have made up for West Salem's losing record, but it was a heck of a way to go out with a bang, finishing a game with a flourish that neither school is likely to forget anytime soon.
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