Brownsburg Wins 4A Title At Buzzer
Butler Recruit Scoops Up Loose Ball, Sinks Shot
Last Updated: 1882 days ago
Brownsburg senior Gordon Hayward grabbed a tipped inbound pass and sank a shot in the lane as time expired, giving his school its first boys basketball championship.Hayward's bucket gave the Bulldogs a 40-39 win over Marion on Saturday in the IHSAA Class 4A final at Conseco Fieldhouse. "It was just a play that went awry, but Gordon Hayward was at the right place at the right time," Brownsburg coach Joshua Kendrick said. Marion's Scott Wood had just made a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left to give his team the lead. The North Carolina State commitment had missed all seven of his shots, and all five of his 3-pointers, before draining his final attempt over Brownsburg's Austin Fish. Fish passed the ball in from the sideline, about 75 feet from the basket. He threw long for Julian Mavunga, but Marion's Jay Edwards caught the ball. Mavunga tipped it from Edwards, and Hayward, a Butler recruit, alertly corralled it and hit the game winner. "Coach told Austin Fish to either throw it to me or Julian, and he made a great decision and threw it to Julian," Hayward said. "I just happened to be there at the right time. "I don't know how I was even open, to be honest. I didn't even really get a look at the rim. I just caught it and shot it."
Hayward, who won the Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award, realized that he made a shot that likely will be remembered for years at his school. "It's great to be part of Brownsburg history," he said. "They have a long tradition, and it's good to continue that tradition. To be part of that history is an amazing feeling." The chain of events happened so quickly that Kendrick struggled to process them, even during the postgame celebration. "Wow," Kendrick said. "It was a roller coaster, it really was." Kendrick was impressed with Mavunga's effort on the final play. "You got to credit Julian Mavunga for clearing out some space there in the paint, getting his hands on it and trying to get his shot up," he said. "Then Gordon Hayward just crashing hard to put it back in. "Obviously, it didn't go as I drew it up, but it counted and that's all that matters." Mavunga led Brownsburg with 17 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. "Julian carried us, he put us on his back until the last shot," Hayward said. "Julian was a monster out there." Hayward scored all 10 of his points in the second half for the Bulldogs. Marion coach Joe Luce gave Brownsburg credit for not giving up after Wood's shot. "It was a great job by Brownsburg on that last shot," Luce said. "Our kids fought hard, it's just the way it goes. It was a heck of a finish, just a nice play at the end by them." Julius Mays led Brownsburg with 21 points. He shot 7-for-9 from the field, while the rest of the team shot 7-for-21. Hayward made a driving layup with 11 seconds left in the third quarter to send the game into the final period tied at 28. Brownsburg started the fourth quarter on a 7-1 run that included two baskets by Hayward to take a 35-29 lead, but Marion closed the gap to 35-34 on a 3-point play by Mays with 3:14 to play. With Brownsburg up 37-36, it looked like Mays had given the Giants the lead on a floater in the lane, but he was called for a charge with 1:05 to play. Brownsburg ran the clock down to 31 seconds before calling time-out. Marion fouled Brownsburg's J.D. Cosby, and he made one of two free throws to set up Wood's shot. Brownsburg shot just 30 percent, but outrebounded the Giants 31-22. The Bulldogs lost their final two regular-season games before rallying in the postseason. "What a great story for these young men, who all year have been underrated, underappreciated and undervalued," Kendrick said. "To pull this off is a great chapter in their lives."