LEHI — Timpanogos guard Colin Christensen made just one shot in his team's big Region 8 showdown with Skyridge on Tuesday, but that one shot could hardly have been bigger or more timely.
With the game tied at 43-43 with 20.6 seconds left on the clock, Christensen took the point of the Timberwolves' offensive set. As the final seconds wound down, he drove the ball hard into the lane, letting go of a running floater that bounced around a few times before ultimately finding the bottom of the net for a 45-43 lead, which proved to be the final.
The visiting student section rushed the floor in jubilation, unaware there was still one full second on the clock, as officials quickly worked to clear the court. After a timeout, Skyridge's last gasp fell short as the inbounds pass to the other side of the court was knocked away.
"That wasn't fun, at all," said an exasperated Timpanogos coach Izzy Ingle as he walked off the court. "Crazy thing is that I thought Colin's shot hit the bottom of the rim. It looked short to me, but luckily it bounced up."
"It was going quick through my mind because it was so loud and with all the adrenaline and stuff," Christensen said of his final shot. "So I crossed over and just made a lucky shot, almost. It just rolled around and went down."
As far as how Christensen's game-winning shot worked out, it wasn't necessarily designed for him, but just worked out that way.
"It was just open," Christensen said. "I didn't care who took the last shot — it just happened to be me."
As for attempting the most critical shot of the game after not hitting a single one throughout the game, it makes it easier knowing you have back up.
"My team believes in me and my coaches believe in me," Christensen said. "When those guys are behind me, then it's easy to have the confidence to make that shot."
Although his heroics were the most notable, Christensen wasn't alone in making big plays down the stretch for the Timberwolves.
Riley Curtis hit a big 3-pointer with just 1:05 remaining to cut Skyridge's lead to 41-40 and end an almost three-minute scoreless spell for his team. After a steal, it was Trey Anderson's turn to square up a 3-point attempt, this one giving Timpanogos a 43-41 lead with 33.6 seconds left on the clock.
Following a timeout, Skyridge executed a play perfectly, however, with Trevon Snoddy breaking open under the basketball to make a layup and tie the score at 43-43 with 20.6 seconds left.Comment on this story
"Skyridge is really good and unbelievably well-coached," Ingle said. "… Credit to (Skyridge) for shutting us down, but our guys just keep believing in themselves and in each other. That's what it takes."
Leading the way for Timpanogos in scoring was Matt Norman, who scored 14, and Riley, who added 12. Snoddy led the way for Skyridge, scoring a game-high 24 points.
With the win, Timpanogos moves into a first-place tie with Skyridge on top of Region 8 with just two games remaining on the regular season.