With no time left on the clock, Xavier Kahube stepped to the line with no other players around him.
The Fort Osage sophomore took a few dribbles and then calmly sank what was the game-winning free throw in a 42-41 win against Winnetonka in the Nelson Division consolation bracket at the William Jewell High School Holiday Classic.
Kahube had no doubts he would deliver, needing only one of the two attempts to win it.
“I thought I would get the rebound and just throw it up,” said the 6-foot-4 forward that had five points in the win and drew a foul with no time left on the clock. “I knew they would foul me and I knew I would knock it down, I always hit my free throws.”
That was the only free throw that Kahube attempted in the contest and he hit 2 of 3 shots from the field in 11 minutes of playing time.
The fourth quarter started with the Indians (2-6) holding an 11-point lead.
The Griffins went on a 10-0 run to open the frame, getting within 36-35 following seven points from Parker Whitacre.
The first basket for the Indians followed – a layup by Nick Dye – to make it 38-35.
Tonka took the lead with 4 minutes, 55 seconds left on a basket by Justin Park, up 39-38.
“They are a scrappy team and they won ball games, and I told the kids if this is a 10-point game in the fourth quarter, that is just what the want,” Fort Osage coach Josh Wilson said. “They will hit shots, and they got guys who can do it. They won't stop and I don't think we were ready for that.”
A jumper by Dye – who had seven points – gave Fort Osage a 41-39 lead with 4:07 to play.
Winnetonka tied the game at 41 when Bol Tong hit two of three free throws later on. The conversions gave him a game-high 12 points.
A series of missed shots and opportunities followed for both teams.
Fort got the ball back with 32.6 left and Tonka, with fouls to give, committed one with 4.1 seconds left.
Dez Griswold attempted a 3-pointer but missed it. Kahube got the rebound with .08 seconds left and got the shot off at 0.04 seconds — according to video available on the play.
The foul was called on Tong with no time on the official game clock, which caused visible frustration to the Griffin coaching staff.
“I'm not one to say the last call made a difference,” Winnetonka coach Todd Magwire said. “We told our guys we aren't giving up a shot, I was upset we gave up a shot. We had two more fouls to commit, and that is what we were trying to do. That is why we fouled with four seconds. and we still had two more we were trying to commit. Somehow we give the guy a three and then we don't block out.”
The loss was the sixth straight for the Griffins (3-7).
Fort Osage, after initially falling behind 7-3, went on a 14-0 run and led 17-9 after 8 minutes.
At the break, the lead was 29-20 for the Indians, who will play Center for fifth-place at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Nine different players scored for the Indians, but not one finished in double figures scoring. Chade Sederwall, who had two 3-pointers in the first quarter, led the scoring with eight.
“The kids weren't happy because they realized what it could've been,” Wilson said. “They were still able to enjoy they got the win, and now we can move on.”