There is absolutely no debating that Ridgefield (Wash.) Union High star Jordan Chatman's full-court buzzer-beater in the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association 4A semifinals was one of the buckets of the year. The lingering debate is whether the shot should have forced overtime, rather than left his squad with a crushing, 52-51 loss to Central Valley (Wash.) High on Friday.
As first noted -- and discovered on video -- by Seattle Times prep reporter Mason Kelley, Chatman drilled an astounding 85-footer as time expired on his team's semifinal game. The 6-foot-4 BYU commit grabbed a rebound of a missed free throw and hurled it in the direction of the other basket. The result? Nothing but net.
The issue, of course, was that the shot was too little, too late. Yet perhaps it shouldn't have been. According to Kelley and other sources, Chatman had drilled a three on the prior possession that should have cut Union's deficit to three points. Instead, during a timeout which was called for Central Valley to set up the subsequent inbounds play, the referees gathered and determined the shot only counted for two points.
Suddenly a three-point deficit was four, and the game -- for all intents and purposes -- was over. Except, of course, for Chatman's miraculous final heave.
"I thought it should have been a three-point game so, being competitive, I wanted to win," the senior told the Times. "It felt good when I released it."
After the game, Union coach Maco Hamilton went back to review game film and determined that Chatman's three on his team's final full possession was in fact taken from behind the line. While Prep Rally can only take the coach at his word, if his assessment is accurate a minor refereeing error would have cost a team a chance at an overtime period to determine a berth in a state title game, not to mention the additional folklore that would have been granted to Chatman's shotput of a bucket.