BOULDER - As Chaparral (Parker)
standout Josh Adams
soared through the lane, his face atop his 6-foot-1 frame hit the net. The height and hang time was impressive enough, but at the same time he twisted just a bit, while extending his left hand to meet the ball shot by teammate Cory Calvert
In a final shot that will forever go down in Class 5A state basketball championship lore, the athletic - not to mention, right-handed - Adams was able to guide the ball back toward the basket, off the backboard and through the net as time expired for the game-winner in a 69-67 overtime victory by the Wolverines against Arapahoe (Centennial)
The fateful sequence left a crowd of 10,841 at the Coors Events Center grabbing their heads in disbelief at its difficulty, as well as its finality. Chaparral (25-3) claimed its first state basketball crown in its first title game.
"I put everything I had into that jump," said Adams, whose tip accounted for his 18th and 19th points. "I saw (the ball) come off, and I knew I had to be there for my teammate. Fortunately, I was able to tip it in.
"There's nothing I can say to express how that felt. It's ridiculous. Perfect way to end my high school career."
The tip-in by Adams, who will next play at Wyoming, was the second amazingly difficult shot by the Wolverines in a matter of minutes. Junior Wil Keyser
saved an errant pass from Adams and hit a turnaround jumper with 2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to send it to overtime at 61-all. Reece Elliott
also contributed to the overall effort with 16 points.
"This was so crazy," Calvert said. "Wil hit a crazy shot to put it into overtime, and at that point I knew we were going to win."
Calvert solidified his reputation as the best closer in the state, as he scored Chaparral's first six points in OT as part of his 17 total. In the semifinals he had converted three consecutive
1-on-1 situations in the final 43 seconds to clinch the win.
Calvert's free throws with 38 seconds in overtime gave the Wolverines a 67-64 advantage. Arapahoe's Taven Sparks
missed the second of his two free throws at the other end, but teammate Zach Kocur
rebounded and drove to the basket to tie it with 11 ticks remaining.
As the crowd roared, Chaparral elected not to take a timeout, as Calvert dribbled along the right side of the court. He launched a three-pointer with 3 seconds remaining that appeared good, before it bounded off the back of the rim and onto Adams' left hand.
"I thought it was going in, honestly, but then I saw Josh flying through the air," said Calvert, who will continue his career at BYU. "It was an amazing play."
Arapahoe (25-3) made an attention-grabbing charge just to make it to its first title game since 1995. The Warriors lost leading scorer Tim Haas
with three games remaining in the regular season, but made no excuses. They blitzed through the playoffs behind the inspired play of Kocur and fellow senior Shane Jensen
That continued through the end, as Kocur finished with 23 points, while Jensen topped all scorers with 29. And while each played a game for the ages with their teammates, it took a play for the ages to finally end their run just short of an elusive championship.