Gonzaga Prep senior post Joe Chapman believes he’s a better basketball player for suffering a shredded anterior cruiciate ligament as a sophomore.
It gave him a greater appreciation for the game.
Chapman may not have had a bigger contribution this season than the final four points he scored Tuesday as the second-seeded Bullpups held off No. 3 Ferris 50-44 in a District 8 4A loser-out game at G-Prep.
Somehow 5-foot-7 point guard Sam Dowd squeezed a pass through a crowd from the free-throw line to a wide open Chapman, who had pinched in from the short corner, and Chapman finished off the layup with no discernible time on the shot clock and 15 seconds remaining in the game.
Then the 6-3 Chapman made two free throws with 4 seconds to go for the Bullpups’ final points.
The Bullpups (16-6) travel to Mid-Columbia Conference second-seed Walla Walla (14-9) on Friday in another elimination game. Tipoff is at 8.
Staying true to himself, Chapman deflected any glory afterward.
“Sam’s unbelievable,” Chapman said. “He had been penetrating all night really well. We had been working in practice on our spacing just for that situation. It was all Sammy. It wasn’t me. I just finished the layin.”
Twice in the second half G-Prep built 10-point leads only to watch Ferris (16-6) fight back.
The Saxons used an 8-0 surge to knot the score at 44-44 before Chapman finished.
“He’s so composed,” G-Prep coach Matty McIntyre said of Chapman. “Even on the last shot, a lot of kids would have rushed it. He has such a mature way about him on and off the floor. He’s come through in the clutch for us in the past. If that situation presents itself again I couldn’t think of a better guy to put in there. I’ve got a lot of trust in him.”
Chapman finished with six points and, more important, six rebounds. Ryan Alexander led with 16 points, including 4-of-7 3-pointers, and Dowd added 14.
The Saxons’ Cody Benzel scored a game-high 21.
Ferris went scoreless the final 1:39.