Every Michigan High School Athletic Association Basketball Tournament has its share of magic moments, and to celebrate the start of the 2011 version of March Magic, the MHSAA Website will be inviting fans to vote on some of the best buzzer-beating shots of past years.
Beginning this week and running through March 11, visitors to MHSAA.com
or the MHSAA pages on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can access pairs of buzzer-beating shots to vote on and advance through an 11-game bracket, with the winning video clip to be shown during the MHSAA Girls and Boys Basketball Finals at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing. A new showdown will take place every four days.
“This is a great way to get ready for one of the most exciting times of the school year, and to help us celebrate our one-year anniversary on Facebook and Twitter,” said Andi Osters, Program and Development Assistant for the MHSAA. “We hope folks will visit the Buzzer Beaters page of our website often during the upcoming weeks and to tell their friends they can cast their vote for some of the best game-ending shots from our video and film vaults.”
The first round begins this week with Travis Conlan’s baseline shot with two seconds left giving St. Clair Shores Lake Shore a 43-41 win over East Grand Rapids in the 1994 Class B Boys Finals, going against perhaps the most legendary winning shot in the tournament’s history, Bob Davis’ jumper which bounced around the rim and in as the gun went off to cap an incredible comeback in 1959 for Lansing Sexton in its 80-79 overtime win against Hamtramck. Voting on these clips runs through Wednesday. The winner of this first showdown faces the incredible steal, three-point basket and free throw with two seconds left by freshman Eric Evans, which snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in Detroit Rogers’ 71-68 Class C Boys Final against Bellaire. That showdown takes place Feb. 14-16.
Here’s the rest of the First Round pairings and how they feed into the Quarterfinal level of the bracket:
• Feb. 3-6 – Ali Dawson’s jumper with 5 seconds left for the winning points in Galesburg-Augusta’s 39-37 win over Allen Park Cabrini in the 2008 Class C Girls Semifinals goes against the finish of the 1994 Class C Boys Final, where Ben Verbeek hits a layup following a missed free throw by Orchard Lake St. Mary’s as time expires for Grandville Calvin Christian, giving the Squires an 85-83 overtime decision. The winner of this matchup goes against the end of overtime in a 2009 Class A Girls Basketball Semifinal, where Briauna Taylor scores on a scramble as time expires, is fouled, and the charity shot is the game-winner. That pairing is up for voting Feb. 17-20.
• Feb. 7-9 – Kim Wilburn’s drive to the hoop and score at the buzzer, giving Detroit Country Day a 49-47 victory over Flint Powers Catholic in the 1999 Class B Girls Final goes against the three-pointer from about 25 feet away by Andrew Mitchell in the 1997 Class D Boys title game, which were the winning points in Detroit East Catholic’s 63-60 decision over Wyoming tri-Unity Christian. The winner of this showdown faces the only buzzer beater from beyond half court to ever win a championship – the 65-footer by Chris Coles of Saginaw Buena Vista in the 1986 Class B Boys Finals against Flint Beecher, which gave the Knights a 33-32 victory. That matchup will take place Feb. 21-23.
• Feb. 10-13 – Flint Hamady’s Kiyana Dudley-Thompson takes a pass in the paint from Kathryn Thomas to score as time runs out in the Hawks’ 68-66 double overtime victory over St. Ignace in the 2010 Class C Girls Finals, which will go against another Flint buzzer-beater – the shot from the top of the key by Bob Hooks which gave Flint Holy Redeemer a 62-60 win over Kingsley for the 1970 Class C Boys’ crown, in the final game for the school before merging with other Catholic schools in the area to form Flint Powers Catholic. The winner of this pairing faces the finish of regulation in the 1996 Class D Girls Final, where Janet Russman picked up a deflected pass and scored to force overtime in Portland St. Patrick’s 53-47 overtime victory against Ashley. That showdown takes place Feb. 24-27.
The semifinals of the Buzzer Beater’s Contest takes place from Feb. 28 to March 6, and the Finals will run March 7-11.