Cretin-Derham Hall won the Class 4A Minnesota high school basketball championship Saturday night in just about the coolest way imaginable.
In fact, someone should pass some sort of rule. From this day forward, all Minnesota high school championship games must be decided by a loose ball, a mad dash upcourt with less than five seconds left, and a pass gently lofted toward the rim with the state title on the line.
It's just better this way, OK? Don't take our word for it. Ask anyone who saw Cretin-Derham Hall steal this one from Apple Valley High School last night.
Cretin-Derham Hall tops Apple Valley on an alley-oop with half a second left pic.twitter.com/Q0my5EfqpT— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) March 25, 2018
That's Cretin's Daniel Oturu on the '-oop' end, catching and slamming a pass from teammate Ryan Larson. As coach Jerry Kline told the Star Tribune after the game, the play was designed to give Larson the option of taking a layup, a jump shot, or tossing the ball up to Oturu -- who, for his part, says he'd told Larson not to hesitate to take the shot himself.
"It was a really unselfish play," Oturu says.
Unselfish and totally awesome.
Oturu finished with 17 points (5-of-10 shooting, 7-of-9 from the free throw line) and six blocks. Next year, the 6-10 local will be fighting for time on the court as a freshman at the University of Minnesota.
The play overcame a huge night from Apple Valley's Tre Jones, younger brother to Tyus, the local-boy-made-local-basketball-man for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Tre Jones (who will follow in Tyus' footsteps at Duke next year) poured in 35 points, hit on six of his nine 3-point attempts, and one of those three misses was this 60-plus-foot prayer at the final buzzer.
Apple Valley did get a final inbounds with 0.5 secs left, Tre Jones missed from 3/4 court pic.twitter.com/d6RBpKy1Jc— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) March 25, 2018
It's a tough break for Jones. Obviously, no one expects one of those to go down. Then again, you don't expect a game-winning alley-oop -- sorry, excuse us, state championship-winning alley-oop. Man. That's just about the coolest phrase of all time.
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