Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pressure... What Do You Know About Pressure?

We don't cover high school sports in this blog too often (or ever for that matter). However, today, we're going to make an exception.

Saturday evening in Georgia, INSIC founder John Breech busted out his digital camera and filmed one of the most controversial endings to a high school basketball game in the history of high school basketball.

First, lets set the stage: it was Georgia's second and third ranked teams, Milton and Norcross, facing off against each other in the state quarterfinal.

Milton High School spent most of the season ranked in the USA Today's Top 25 poll, Norcross is a national power that recently won three Georgia state titles in a row (2006, 2007, 2008).

This game had more division 1 college prospects than an NBA D-League game. Although that's not saying much because there are YMCA leagues that have more D-1 prospects than a D-League game.

Anyway, Norcross is led by Jeremy Lamb, who is headed to UConn next season while Milton is led by three juniors who will all most likely be making more money than you by 2014 (i.e. they're all ranked among the top 25 players in the country.)

Back to the game. With :03 showing on the game clock, Milton's Shannon Scott (headed to Ohio State next season) missed a long 3-pointer. It looked like Milton's season was over until 6'8" man child Julian Royal attempted a put back, but he never got the shot off because he was egregiously fouled as time expired.

Keep in mind that if he was fouled after the buzzer, Norcross wins, if he was fouled before the buzzer, he gets two shots. We have video that we have watched for six straight hours, but it's impossible to tell what sounded first: the buzzer or the whistle for the foul.

Anyway, the refs took only 30 seconds to decide that the foul came before the buzzer.

So that sets the stage for the heroic's.

Here is Royal, a junior being recruited by the likes of North Carolina, UCLA and Georgia Tech, shooting two free throws with no time left on the clock. Keep in mind, his team is trailing 51-50 with no time left when he steps up to the line.

Oh, and despite what people say, big men can hit clutch free throws; Shaquille O'Neal, please take notes.

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