The buzzer sounded a tick after the shot went in, giving West Marshall a 41-40 win over the Sailors and propelling the Trojans to the boys’ state basketball tournament.
Let’s back up a minute or so.
With 1:07 left, Columbus went ahead by a point, 38-37. One second later, Dan Eckhardt made the front end of a one-and-one to tie the game at 38.
Time out, Columbus.
Columbus had the ball with 39 seconds left. On the inbounds pass, Shipley shot upcourt to knock the ball off a Columbus player, giving the Trojans the ball.
Time out, West Marshall.
The Trojan plan here was to run enough time off the clock and take the last shot, either winning or forcing overtime.
Shipley drove for the basket a little too soon, had his shot blocked, and the Sailors’ Juston Meier had enough time to put Columbus ahead, 40-38, with 3.5 seconds remaining.
West Marshall got a break when Joe Disney’s long down-court pass was tipped out of bounds in front of the West Marshall bench with three seconds left. It was just enough time to take the ball out of bounds, get it in Shipley’s hands, time enough for him to peel around the screens and launch the game-winning shot.
West Marshall got off to a slow start, turning the ball over its first three possessions and giving up a 5-0 lead before 3-pointers by Eckhardt and Shipley made it 6-5 Trojans.
West Marshall led, 10-7, at the end of the quarter and 20-17 at halftime but gave up a six-point lead late in the third quarter on three turnovers to fall into a 29-29 tie at the end of the period.
Columbus seized a three-point lead, 36-33, midway through the final quarter but Drake Ferch was fouled on a driving layup he made and he sank the free throw to tie it up at 36-all.
Shipley, who went from hero on his pass deflection to goat on his blocked shot to big hero with the game-winning shot, said he wasn’t the hero.
“I’m not a hero,” he said. “The in-bounds pass was perfect and my teammates screened for me, too. It’s everyone. It’s a team effort.”
Trojan head coach David Shipley said, “All these guys have been stepping up. We’re very blessed right now with the guys we have.”
Shipley added that he and son Jake would be talking about the shot that came a little early at the end of the game.
Defense was the key for West Marshall, something the Trojans have stressed all year.
Waterloo Columbus (18-6) came into the game averaging 70.1 points and six 3-pointers per game. West Marshall held to Sailors to 40 points — three points under the Trojans’ defensive season average — and no treys. Columbus’ previous season-low scoring output was 57 points.
Shipley led West Marshall (20-3) with 12 points, Ferch added seven, Ross Howe and Joe Disney scored six apiece for the Trojans.
Meier with 19 points and Tim Kelly with 16 led Columbus.
West Marshall takes a 13-game winning streak into its matchup with sixth-ranked Western Christian Monday at 8:15 p.m. in the quarterfinal round of the 2A state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE
West Marshall’s Dan Eckhardt waves the 2008 boys’ basketball state-qualifier banner toward West Marshall fans Wednesday after the Trojans claimed a 41-40 victory over Waterloo Columbus in the substate finals at Grundy Center High School. West Marshall’s only other state tournament appearance came in 1990 when the Trojans were the state runner-up.
Fact BoxWest Marshall 41,
Waterloo Columbus 40
At Grundy Center
WATERLOO COLUMBUS (18-6) — Juston Meier 8 3-5 19, Tim Kelly 6 4-6 16, James Humpal 1 1-3 3, Dan Luce 0 0-0 0, David Holmes 0 0-0 0, David Peters 0 0-0 0, Mike Rhodes 1 0-0 0. TOTALS 16 8-14 40.
WEST MARSHALL (20-3) — Jake Shipley 5 0-0 12, Joe Disney 2 2-3 6, Ross Howe 2 2-2 6, Dan Eckhardt 1 1-2 4, Sam Buck 1 1-2 4, Drake Ferch 3 1-1 7, Tyler Keigan 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 15 7-10 41.
COL 7 10 12 11 — 40
WM 10 10 9 12 — 41
3-point goals — WM 4 (Shipley 2, Buck, Eckhardt). Team fouls — COL 15, WM 13. Fouled out — Rhodes, Howe.