Kentucky player’s district title game-winner is a ‘falling-down hook shot’ of a prayer

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Game-winning 3-pointers happen at all levels of basketball, so seeing one -- even when it's thrown up at the buzzer -- isn't necessarily a major shock. Still, the shot put up by Lexington (Ky.) Catholic School sharpshooter Dillon Avare in his school's 43rd District Championship game was a bit different because of the form he was forced to take to even get it up; Avare's game-winning three was a hook shot, thrown up while falling down.

"I've seen him hit threes before, but a falling-down hook shot, that's a new one," Lafayette (Ky.) High coach Mike Mendenhall III, whose team was defeated by the last-second prayer, told the Lexington Herald-Leader. "I'll give him that shot 10 out of 10 times. If he hits it, what can you do? That's basketball."

In fact, Avare wasn't even the player that the Knights wanted to take the final shot. As the diminutive guard told the Herald-Leader's Mike Fields, the final play was designed to go to low-post star Jack Whitman or another of the team's big men. Instead, because of Lafayette's trapping defense along the perimeter, Avare had to throw up the shot himself.

The result? An incredibly unlikely 40-37 win and a district title in tow, particularly surprising after the Knights shot just 33 percent from the field.

"I'd like to say we practice that play every day, but we don't," Lexington Catholic coach Brandon Salsman told the Herald-Leader. "But Dillon's been in the gym and he's probably shot that shot 10 or 15 billion times. We're glad he was able to make it for us tonight."

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