Not bad for a Plan B.
Oak Hill’s final play wasn’t designed specifically for Tyshon Alexander, but the Oak Hill junior stepped up when the ball came his way.
The 6’4” junior swished a game-winning 3-pointer from the corner in the final seconds as Oak Hill pulled off a stunning 49-48 victory over Sierra Canyon (Calif.) in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions title game Saturday night.
“(The play) was really supposed to be going to our big man Khadim (Sy) with a bounce pass to send the game into overtime, but we also had an additional play for me to come out in the corner and knock down a shot,” said Alexander, who was 5-for-9 on 3-point attempts. “Coach had a lot of confidence in me since I was on the whole game. So it came down to that and I knocked down that shot. And it was one of the biggest shots of my career.”
Alexander’s buzzer-beating trey marked Oak Hill’s only lead of the game. Sierra Canyon led for 30 minutes and 20 seconds of the 32-minute game, with the score tied for 1:38.
“We didn’t play particularly well, but that was a great win,” said Oak Hill coach Steve Smith.
The win marked Oak Hill's second straight Tournament of Champions title. The Warriors beat Wesleyan Christian in the 2015 finals.
It was also the second buzzer-beater to decide a Tournament of Champions final in the last four years, with Paul VI then-sophomore Kevin Dorsey making a game-winner in overtime to beat Montverde Academy (Fla.) in 2013.
Alexander, who has verbaled to Creighton, led Oak Hill with 15 points off the bench. Sierra Canyon 4-star junior power forward Cody Riley had 18 points and 15 rebounds in the loss.
After making one of two free throws, Sierra Canyon led 48-46 with 28 seconds remaining.
Oak Hill took three timeouts around a missed field goal that went off Sierra Canyon, setting up an out-of-bounds play for Alexander’s game-winning shot with three seconds remaining.
“We were trying to go inside,” Smith said. “We wanted to either get a foul or score it. But (Alexander) was an option. I didn’t think he was going to shoot a 3. We just need a 2, you know. Pop outside and if you have a 15-footer, knock it down. But he sprinted to the 3-point line.
“He was open, but that was a tough shot. I was standing there right behind him when he took it. It was not an easy shot. I couldn’t tell if it was going in or not when it left his hands.”
Sierra Canyon coach Ty Nichols said that despite the loss, it was still a “successful” night for his team.
“We evaluate games on three things,” Nichols said. “No. 1 is, ‘Did you play hard?’ The answer’s yes. No. 2 is, ‘Did you have fun?’ The answer’s yes. The third thing is, I loved watching them play. That’s a success. We lost the game and it kills us, but we were successful. We’d love to have it back. Oak Hill’s an incredibly good basketball team. But, that’s how it goes.”
The Trailblazers’ biggest lead was eight points midway through the second quarter. They led 45-40 with five minutes remaining in the game.
“We missed all sorts of ‘chip shots’ inside in the first half,” Smith said. “We dug a hole, I thought we were going to dig too big of a hole. But we played pretty well defensively and that kept us in the game and gave us a chance in the last two minutes to make a play at the end.”
Khadim Sy had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Oak Hill, with Braxton Key scoring 10. Oak Hill (25-1 overall) shot 20-for-59 from the field, including 6-for-18 on 3-point attempts.
Devearl Ramsey had 14 points for Sierra Canyon (14-2 overall), which lost by four points to Oak Hill in a meeting last season. The Trailblazers shot 16-for-35 from the field.
Free throw shooting had a big impact on the game, with Sierra Canyon going 14-for-24 at the line while Oak Hill made 3 of its 8 attempts.
Sierra Canyon and Oak Hill will now head to a different Springfield (Massachusetts) to compete in the Hoophall Classic on Monday. Sierra Canyon plays Montverde Academy (Fla.) while Oak Hill faces Mater Dei (Calif.).
The three-night attendance for the 2016 Tournament of Champions was announced as 25,604. Over 10,000 fans filled the stands for Saturday night’s dunk contest, 3rd place game and title game.
"This was the most packed crowd I've ever been in," Alexander said. "I love the atmosphere. For the fans, they all came in and were great. I thank them for the love and support they had for us."
Oak Hill 49, Sierra Canyon 48
Sierra Canyon 15 11 10 12 — 48
Oak Hill 11 13 7 18 — 49
Sierra Canyon – Cody Riley 18, Devearl Ramsey 14, Remy Martin 8, Adam Seiko 4, Terrance McBride 2, Michael Feinberg 2
Oak Hill – Ty-shon Alexander 15, Khadim Sy 10, Braxton Key 10, Matt Coleman 6, Mario Kegler 6, Devontae Shuler 2
2016 Tournament of Champions All-Tournament Team
Zach Collins (Bishop Gorman)
Charles O’Bannon Jr. (Bishop Gorman)
Jayson Tatum (Chaminade)
Tyler Cook (Chaminade)
Jose Alvarado (Christ the King)
Jared Ridder (Kickapoo)
Lindell Wigginton (Oak Hill)
Sam Cunliffe (Rainier Beach)
Cody Riley (Sierra Canyon)
Devearl Ramsey (Sierra Canyon)
MVP: Tyshon Alexander (Oak Hill)
Missouri’s nationally ranked team threw up a defensive goose egg, while its power forward continued to put down thunderous dunks.
Holding Rainier Beach (Wash.) to zero points in the third quarter, Chaminade (No. 19 MaxPreps Xcellent 25) dominated the second half to claim a 61-39 victory Saturday night in the 2016 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions 3rd place game.
“I didn’t (realize it) until the buzzer sounded and everybody was saying, ‘That’s a zero quarter, that’s a zero quarter,’” said Chaminade’s Tyler Cook. “That’s something we always talk about – holding teams to as few points as we can because that’s how you win basketball games. To be able to hold a team like (Rainier Beach) to zero points in a quarter is a huge accomplishment.”
Chaminade outscored Rainier Beach 17-0 in the third quarter to extend a four-point halftime lead up to 43-22 going into the final frame. Rainier Beach shot 0-for-13 form the field in the third quarter, including 0-for-8 on 3-point attempts.
Cook, one of the tournament’s most frequent dunkers this year, had four more slams on Saturday. An Iowa commit,
Cook had 13 points and six rebounds.
Duke commit Jayson Tatum got going after a slow start in the first half to post 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists for Chaminade.
It was a rough way to end the tournament for Rainier Beach, which shot (15-for-50) from the field in the game – 4-for-25 on 3-point attempts – and committed 17 turnovers. Arizona State commit Sam Cunliffe had 13 points and five rebounds to lead the Vikings.
With the event’s second annual dunk contest taking place beforehand, Chaminade and Rainier Beach played their 3rd place game in front of about 10,00 fans.
“It’s a fun experience,” Cook said. “We’re use to big in front of big crowds, we get that a lot, but we’ve never played in front of 10,000 people before. But once the ball gets up in the air, it’s just basketball. It was pretty fun playing in front of these fans, it was great for us. We were able to get them on our side early and I think that’s what kind of gave us some energy.”
Chaminade 61, Rainier Beach 39
Chaminade 13 13 17 18 — 61
Rainier Beach 11 11 0 17 — 39
Chaminade – Jayson Tatum 14, Tyler Cook 13, Jericole Hellems 11, Reggie Crawford 10, Mike Lewis II 5, Karrington Davis 2, Isaac Olson 2, Marin Varucinic 2, Will Gladson 2
Rainier Beach – Sam Cunliffe 13, Kevin Porter 10, Kahlil Shabazz 4, Freddie Roberson 3, Marquis Gurski 3, Kendall Williams 2, N’Keil Nelson 2, Tijon Rodde 2
TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS TOP PLAYS