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Buchanan's buzzer-beater lifts Lafayette Jeff past Avon
February 13, 2013Lafayette Jefferson High School
alf a second was just enough time for Tyler Buchanan and Peter Ripke to send Lafayette Jeff fans home happy and bring the student section on to the court.
Jordan Rhoades had given Avon a 43-42 lead by making one of two free throws with 0.5 seconds remaining Friday night at Crawley Center. Following a timeout, Ripke launched a three-quarter-court pass to Buchanan. In one motion, Buchanan caught the ball, turned and banked in a 3-point shot to give the Bronchos a 45-43 victory.
In a play similar to one made by Christian Laettner and Grant Hill in the famed 1992 Kentucky-Duke game, Ripke played the part of Hill while Buchanan channeled his inner Laettner. Lafayette Jeff coach Scott Radeker had his team prepared for a situation just like this one.
“We run situations every day in practice,” Radeker said, “It was either this week or last week where we ran that same situation with two seconds, it was essentially the Laettner play, Pete made a great pass, and Buchanan’s shot went in.”
Even with a great play call and a great setup pass from Ripke, Buchanan was less than confident.
“No, I didn’t think it was going in,” the 6-foot-3 junior said. “(Pete) launched it, I caught it, turned and shot it. One of the refs actually told us to end the game in regulation.”
Despite the excitement of the final few seconds, the game was a tale of two halves. After Avon raced out to an 11-3 lead, Radeker called a timeout.
“(My message was) we had no energy,” Radeker said, “We weren’t executing on offense and we needed to turn up the heat on defense, which we did.”
The message was received, as the Bronchos scored the next eight points to tie the game at 11, before a bucket by Scott Bloom resulted in a 13-11 first-quarter lead for the Orioles.
The second quarter saw both teams score six points, but the momentum changed in Lafayette Jeff’s favor to start the third quarter.
Senior Lucas Wallace scored two quick buckets to give the Bronchos (7-9) a lead that they would not lose until late in the fourth quarter. Lafayette Jeff outscored Avon 19-9 in the period to take a 36-28 lead.
“I was real impressed with how we played in the third quarter,” Radeker said. “The message at halftime was telling the kids they looked like they didn’t even want to be here. Given the way we played offensively, we were pleased to be in the game.”
Avon coach Jason Young blamed a sluggish second quarter and a bad third quarter for the defeat.
“On paper that last shot beat us, but we lost this game in the second and third quarter,” Young said. “Not executing offensively. Defensively, we didn’t step up and help out off of penetration as we have done all year, so that was disappointing.”
Conner Funkhouser led Avon (8-9) with 18 points