I saw it.

I really did.

But I still don’t believe it.

I saw it.
I really did.
But I still don’t believe it.
Neither does John Vickers and his William Chrisman basketball staff, Jon Ekey, Nathan Martin and the rest of the Bears.
I’m talking about a driving, twisting, had-to-be-seen-to-be-believed basket by Justin Clark the Bears’ 87-52 Class 5 District 15 victory over Northeast Friday night before an appreciative sold out crowd at William Chrisman High School.
Clark, who is smoother than syrup on a scorching Missouri summer afternoon, took a pass and left a Northeast player grabbing at nothing but air near the 3-point stripe.
He did the same to another Viking near the free-throw line and left the last of the three hapless defenders with his jock around his ankles as he floated to the basket and deftly put up a reverse layup that kissed the rim and fell through the basket.
“I saw it and thought, ‘How did he do that?’” said Ekey, who is also part of this fable.
Moments after the play, Clark missed a 3-point shot and the 6-foot-7 Ekey grabbed the rebound above the rim and slammed it home for a dunk that rocked the Chrisman backboard.
“I enjoyed Jon’s dunk more than my move,” Clark said, as he munched a piece of post-game pizza.
Ekey’s dunk was stellar.
“It’s my all-time favorite dunk,” Ekey said, “but it was nothing compared to what Justin did.”
Clark’s drive to the basket was something you’d expect from Kobe Bryant in an NBA All-Star Game.
“The Russian judge gave him a 5.4,” joked Chrisman assistant coach Jason Stacy, when asked about Clark’s drive.
Moments after Clark’s moment in the spotlight, Bears assistant coach Bill Adams leaned over to Vickers and whispered, “Great coaching.”
That brought a smile to Vicker’s face you couldn’t wipe off with a Sham Wow.
“We talk about Justin, and he does things no one else can do “ Vickers said, “but that drive was amazing. I still don’t believe it.”
Clark took it in stride.
“I did the first spin move, and you could tell the crowd was getting into it,” Clark said. “So I thought I’d do it a couple more times. I wanted to have a nice finish to it, too.”
It’s a play fans at Chrisman will talk about for ages.
“It was pretty cool,” said Martin, who has meant so much the Bears this season, his lone campaign in a Chrisman uniform. “Nothing he does surprises me. He’s that good.”
• William Chrisman activities director Dan Ogle and principal Jason Dial deserve huge kudos for refusing to let a potential explosive situation get out of hand.
During Chrisman’s victory over the Vikings, Northeast coach Ron Robinson received two technicals and was ejected from the game. Later, a fan was ejected. Ogle and Dial made sure the exits were quick, quiet and didn’t disrupt the game.
And even bigger kudos to the Bears, who saw scrappy teammate Korey Stucker take a terrifying fall to the floor, as he drove in for a layup, landing on his head and the back of his neck.
“I was scared for Korey,” Ekey said. “We were all so relieved when he got up and walked off the court. We made sure we won the game for him.”
It was the Bears first district crown since 1980.
“Man, 1980?” asked Clark. “That’s a lo-o-o-o-o-ng time ago.”
• It was great to see Jayme Smith play such a key role in the Patriots’ 53-42 victory over Kansas City Central.
The senior sparkplug missed much of the season with a knee injury, and has come back to team with Cassie Eggers to give Truman one of the top point-guard duos in the area.
“They work so well together,” Truman coach Pete Hile said. “We don’t have the big-name players, just a lot of kids who know their roles and leave it all on the court every night.”