LAFAYETTE — There was 17 seconds left on Wednesday night and Dawson School had come all the way back from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to tie Shining Mountain at 50-50.
And even though Lions coach Tim Crouthers called timeout to draw up a play, everybody in the Mustangs gym — and it was packed on alumni night — knew who was going to get the ball.
Lions senior Nathan Fairmont had already poured in 27 points — what was two more?
It took a few seconds to develop, and even with Dawson’s Jack Shams draped all over him, Fairmont cleared just enough space for himself under the basket and was able hit a shot at the buzzer for a unbelievable 52-50 win.
“My teammates all ran the perfect play and made the right passes,” said Fairmont, who was without second leading scorer Leo Mason on the court after he fouled out earlier in the quarter. “I was lucky to finish it off.”
It was a brilliant finish to a game that looked like it was over after three quarters. The Lions (6-2) controlled every aspect of the game, up 39-22 after three against the cold-shooting Mustangs, but that changed in the final eight minutes.
Dawson (3-3) kept chipping away and with 3:30 to play had trimmed it to a two possession game at 44-40.
The Mustangs, who couldn’t find their range from behind the arc in the first part of the game, found it in the fourth. They hit five 3-pointers, including clutch triples form Jordy Grant-Krenz, Riley Burridge and Gavyn Pure.
“We are a gritty team and we are going to fight the whole way. It’s unfortunate that we came out flat in the first half,” Dawson coach Tobin Skenandore said. “By the time we found our energy, the clock beat us.”
Pure, whom Skenandore called his floor general, scored 11 of his team high 25 in the fourth-quarter comeback.
And just like Shining Mountain knew the Mustangs were going to go to Pure in clutch situations down the stretch, so to did Dawson when it came to the final play.
“We were already in foul trouble as it was and I couldn’t lose my outside shooters (in case of overtime) who already had four fouls,” Skenandore said. “I knew they were going to (Fairmont) and I tried to explain it to them and we had our Rocky Balboa — Jack (Shams had a nasty gash over his eye from an earlier elbow) on him.
“Unfortunately 6-4 is a a little taller than 5-10.”
SHINING MOUNTAIN 52, DAWSON 50
SHINING MOUNTAIN (6-2)
Ben Karbassi 0 0-1 0, Leo Mason 2 0-0 4, Nathan Fairmont 8 11-14 29, Perrin Thompson 1 7-12 9, Max Robson 0 0-0 0, Reid Hill 3 0-0 7, Dylan Farrell 0 0-0 0, Nicholas Cortes 1 0-0 3. Totals 15 18-27 52.
Jack Shams 1 1-3 3, Jordy Grant-Krenz 3 0-0 8, Brandon Day 1 1-2 3, Gavyn Pure 11 1-3 25, Evan Breese 1 0-0 2, Hunter Watts 0 0-0 0, Riley Burridge 3 0-0 9, Coby Grant-Krenz 0 0-0 0, Chase Fulkerson 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 3-8 50.
Score by quarters:
Shining Mountain 8 14 17 13 — 52
Dawson10 5 7 28 — 50
3-point field goals — Shining Mountain (4): Fairmont 2, Hill, Cortes; Dawson (7): Burridge 3, J. Grant-Krenz 2, Pure 2. Total fouls — Shining Mountain 14; Dawson 25. Fouled out — Mason, Watts. Technical fouls — Mason (assessed to Shining Mountain coach).