The District 2B boys’ basketball semifinals produced a pair of wild finishes at the Aberdeen Civic Arena Tuesday night.
Michael Erickson nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to lift Langford Area past Hitchcock-Tulare 47-44 and Warner’s Mitchell Boesl threw in a running desperation three-pointer at the buzzer to give his team a 46-43 victory over Leola-Frederick.
All of this, on the heels of an overtime game to start the district on Monday.
“It was suppose to be a tough district,” Boesl said. “No one knows who’s going to win. I guess it’s us and Langford now.”
And in the most dramatic of ways.
Boesl collected a loose ball and fired in a three-pointer while falling out of bounds to give the Monarchs their victory.
“I seen 1.8 seconds left on the clock and the ball was rolling,” Boesl said. “I just grabbed it and launched it.”
The horn went off as the ball sailed through the air before landing right in the hoop.
“When I looked at it, I seen it go through and I stood and I was like, no way. And then I went nuts. That was crazy. I can’t believe that went in.”
And neither could anybody else.
“As a player or coach or even a spectator, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a play like that,” said Warner coach Matt Mackner. “It’s like the old adage, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than to be good. On that shot, that was exactly the case.”
Warner threatened to break open a tight game on several occasions, but Leola-Frederick hung tough and eventually erased all of an eight-point deficit to tie the game with 1:54 remaining on a three-pointer by Wyatt Heine.
The Monarchs were then in no hurry to fire up a shot.
“We wanted a good shot. We weren’t going to take anything but the layup,” Mackner said.
Warner ran the clock all the way down and nearly turned the ball over with 18 seconds left before calling a timeout to set up a final play.
The play produced an attempt that caromed off the rim before Boesl chased down the ball and tossed in a shot that will be talked about for years.
Jarrod Tuszka and Clay Rozell each scored 14 points and Derrek Tuszka added 13 for Warner. Jarrod Tuszka scored his 1,000th career point on his first basket of the game.
Brian Sumption’s 13 points powered Leola-Frederick.
Langford, which trailed by seven points late in the third quarter, turned to its key senior Erickson for the game-winner on a nifty pass from Bo Fries.