Forward Richard Dumas put in teammate Brent Price's missed shot at the buzzer to lead top-seeded Oklahoma to a 54-52 victory over South Carolina Midlands in yesterday's title game of the Amateur Athletic Union's 17-and-under national basketball championships at Georgetown University's McDonough Arena.
With the game tied at 52, Midlands forward Tracy Garrick missed a 12-footer with 14 seconds remaining. Oklahoma's Mike Maddox grabbed the rebound and was fouled with nine seconds left. South Carolina called a timeout to let Maddox think about the shot.
"I didn't want to leave it short," said Maddox. "Unfortunately, I rushed it and shot long."
Maddox's free throw attempt rolled off the side of the rim and was pulled down by teammate Byron Jones, who passed it outside to Stephen Joseph, who fed to Price in the corner. His shot bounced off the back rim. But Dumas, who was planted underneath, grabbed the rebound for the layup.
"I just kept thinking I had to get the ball," said Dumas. "It didn't matter if I had to dive or kill myself. I had to get that ball."
It was a fitting climax for Dumas, who before the championship final won the tournament's dunk contest.
Thirty-eight teams comprising 600 of the nation's top high school players participated in the six-day tournament.
Trailing, 32-27, entering the third quarter, Oklahoma began successfully getting the ball inside to Maddox, who was covered by Stanley Roberts. Maddox scored eight of his game-high 19 points in the third period. Outscoring Midlands, 16-6, in the period, Oklahoma entered the fourth quarter leading, 43-38.
"I thought I was quicker than Roberts and I figured I could take him outside," said Maddox. "We knocked a couple down and got the momentum back."
"It was a mental thing," said South Carolina Coach George Glymph. "We just didn't take care of the lead."
Roberts led Midlands with 18 points and Anton Brown scored 12. Jones had 12 points for Oklahoma.