Printed on: January 26, 2013

Saved by the buzzer

By Michael Lycklama
mlycklama@postregister.com

REXBURG -- Skyline rallied all the way back from 11 down midway through the fourth quarter. But a fraction of a second preserved Madison's lead and its 56-55 high school boys basketball win Friday night.

Skyline senior Christian Cather tipped in a miss from teammate Scott Allison that would have won the game and sent the Grizz to their sixth straight win against Madison. But just as the Skyline bench exploded onto the court to celebrate the game-winning tip-in, the official under the basket emphatically waved it off, claiming the ball was still in Cather's hands when the buzzer sounded.

"We watched it on camera and it was good," Skyline coach Ty Shippen said after the game. "At least that's what it looked like on the first look. But that happens."

Madison (11-5 overall, 3-2 conference) had a chance to put the game away when senior forward Kameron Jackson toed the free-throw line for two shots with 21.7 seconds left. But he missed both, an eerie reminder of Madison's 66-65 loss at Skyline on Jan. 8 when Logan Lee missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw with 1.7 seconds left.

Cather snatched the rebound and the Grizz broke down court. Skyline (5-11, 2-4) failed to get a shot off on its first rotation of the ball, opting to swing it back. Needing any field goal to win and out of timeouts, Allison opted to drive to the hoop as time ticked down. He beat Madison's Lyle Sutton off the dribble, but Madison's Jakob Wilson slid over to help, forcing Allison into an off-balance, left-handed floater. The shot clanged off the rim. Cather tipped it back in, but it came a fraction of a second too late.

Skyline trailed throughout the first half until Allison hit a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter to give his team a 33-27 lead. But Madison switched out of its man defense into a 1-2-2 halfcourt trap backing into a 1-2-2 zone, sparking a 19-2 run in its favor.

The Bobcats held just a two-point lead heading into the fourth before Skyline turned the ball three times on its first four possessions of the quarter, fueling Madison's run.

Sutton, a junior point guard, led all scorers with 17 points. He did most of his damage in the second half, scoring 12 points operating from the high post against Skyline's 2-3 zone.

Jackson added 16 points for Madison while sophomore Jai Jai Ely led Skyline with 14 and Cather finished with a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Skyline hosts Blackfoot on Wednesday while Madison hosts Bonneville the same night.