Park Center's Tommy Chatman makes the first of two free throws to give Park Center the lead with 5.4 seconds left in the third overtime against Champlin Park. The Pirates defeated the Rebels 57-55. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
Senior guard Tommy Chatman drove to the basket, drew a foul and made both free throws with 5.4 seconds left in the third overtime Friday, setting up Park Center for a 57-55 victory in the Class 4A, Section 5 championship game at Rogers.
Champlin Park had one more chance, but senior guard Bennett Otto’s buzzer-beater was no good.
“Down the stretch I just give our team a lot of credit. We got two or three stops in overtime. That was the difference,” Park Center coach James Ware said.
With one second left in the second half, Otto’s potential game-winning shot banked off the rim as the buzzer sounded, sending the game into overtime tied 43-43.
Champlin Park (23-6) got 14 points from senior guard Jacob Johnson. Park Center (28-1) was led by junior forward Dain Dainja with 15 points, including nine in overtime.
The victory sends Park Center to its first state appearance since placing second in 2013. Park Center lost to Osseo in the section final last season.
“I strictly told [Dainja], ‘Remember that feeling last year when we lost to Osseo?’ He told me, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘We’re not feeling like that again,’ ” junior forward Detavious Frierson said.
Park Center defeated Champlin Park 71-54 in the regular season.
“The big change is the section finals. Anything goes, and it’s really tough to get to the state tournament,” Champlin Park coach Mark Tuchscherer said.
Jack Warrick is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.
After Park Center waited out most of the third overtime, senior guard Tommy Chatman drove to the basket in the final seconds and drew a foul. He made both free throws to give his team a 57-55 lead with 5.4 seconds left.
Champlin Park had one last chance. Senior guard Bennett Otto shot a buzzer-beater in the final moment, but it was no good. giving top seed Park Center (28-1) the victory over Champlin Park (23-6) at Rogers High School on Friday in the Class 4A, Section 5 championship game.
In the final seconds of the second overtime, Park Center senior guard Emmanuel Tamba drove to the basket, got stuffed and a jump ball was called. Champlin Park got the ball to Otto, whose shot just before the buzzer banked off the rim.
Chatman's two points were the only points scored in the third overtime, and it was all the Pirates needed.
Champlin Park senior Bennett Otto draws contact as he goes up for a shot in the first half against Park Center. The Rebels fell to the Pirates 57-55 in triple overtime. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine