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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  High school sports

Shamrock Campbell’s long jumper lifts Ferris over Lewis and Clark in wild finish

 (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
(Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Even when it looked like it might be over, it still wasn’t over.

Shamrock Campbell hit a long jump shot without setting his feet with 2.9 seconds remaining and visiting Ferris held off Lewis and Clark 55-53 in a wild Greater Spokane League boys basketball game on Thursday.

But a lot happened in that 2.9 seconds.

LC’s long inbound play didn’t connect at midcourt. After a scramble, Ferris got the ball back out of bounds following a foul.

The Tigers’ Griffin Effenberger fouled intentionally on the inbound play to give Ferris two free throws, but Michael Ervin missed both to keep it a two-point game with 1.4 seconds left.

After the free-throw attempts missed, the ball went back to midcourt. On Ferris’ inbound play, Reece Van Lierop got tangled up with a defender and was called for an offensive foul to give Lewis and Clark one more chance to tie or win it.

The inbound pass went to Naje Smith, but his long-range turnaround jumper was short and the Saxons persevered.

“Crazy finish,” Ferris coach Sean Mallon said.

“There were some unusual things there obviously,” Mallon said. “But we knew playing them would be a close game. We always get their best shot.

“It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t pretty, but we battled and we got it.”

How it got to that point was almost as interesting.

After a low-scoring first half, which saw Ferris hold a 23-20 lead at the break, Van Lierop caught fire in the third quarter, amassing 14 points – 12 came via 3-pointers. Ferris outscored LC 21-12 in the third and looked to lead comfortably at 44-32 entering the final stanza.

But Lewis and Clark flipped the script, and this time it was the Tigers’ leader, Smith, who led the charge.

The Tigers scored the first seven points of the final quarter, with Smith’s estimable talent on display. He first recorded a follow-up dunk, and then drained a 3-pointer from the corner to make it a five-point game.

“That’s why he’s a great player,” Mallon said, describing for 6-foot-7 Smith. “Obviously, he’s a challenge for us. We don’t have 6-7, 6-8. But our kids played hard, they kept with it. They didn’t lose faith.”

Then things got weird.

LC’s Xavier Guillory was called for his fourth foul with 1:54 left at 50-46. He then bumped a Ferris player and drew a technical foul, fouling out. Ervin made 1 of 2 on the personal foul, Campbell made both technicals and Ferris led 53-46 after the incident.

Jonny Love stemmed the tide for the Tigers with a 3-pointer and was fouled on the shot. He made the free throw and LC trailed 53-50 with 29.8 seconds left.

Effenberger nailed a long 3 from the wing with 12 seconds left to tie it, only to have his heroics undone by Campbell’s off-balance jumper with 2.9 left.

“I had the ball, my coaches called the play for me,” Campbell said. “Drove to the right, pulled up, went in.”

“He does that all the time,” Mallon said of Campbell’s floating jumper. “He does that off the pull-up, so we feel comfortable giving him the ball. He’s a great competitor. He’s not afraid of the moment..”

Van Lierop led Ferris with 20 points – including six 3-pointers. Campbell finished with 13 points and 4 of 6 from the line.

Smith led all scorers with 24 points – with 11 in the fourth quarter – and Effenberger finished with nine on three 3-pointers.

Both teams came out cold and the teams combined for eight points midway through the first quarter. After a timeout, Van Lierop drilled a 3-pointer, but LC’s Jacob Proost made three consecutive free throws at the end of the quarter and the Saxons led 13-12 at the break.

Early in the second, VanLierop hit another 3 and the Saxons opened a six-point lead. Smith answered with a 3-pointer and Guillory followed a miss with an offensive rebound and layup to cut the deficit.

Smith’s traditional three-point play at the end of the quarter drew Lewis and Clark to within three, and the Saxons took a 23-20 lead at intermission.

Turnovers told the big story of the first half as Lewis and Clark gave it away 12 times, compared to two for Ferris.

Smith led all scorers at the break with nine points.

Effenberger came out firing in the third quarter, drilling back-to-back 3-pointers to put LC up 26-23 with less than 1 minute off the third-quarter clock.

Van Lierop answered for Ferris – and then some. He hit consecutive 3s, then a Smith dunk seemed to snap the run. But next time down, Van Lierop drained another 3 while falling backward and Ferris took its largest lead of the game at 39-30 with 1:35 left in the frame.

Ferris held for the last shot of the third and worked it to Van Lierop, who hit another 3 from the wing and the Saxons led 44-32 entering the fourth quarter.

“He’s one of those kids anytime he shoots we think it’s going in,” Mallon said of his shooting guard. “Happy for him to break out on such a big stage.”

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