At Eagle HS, Bear Lake needed a last-second shot to earn a 43-42 win over Melba to take home the 2A consolation championship.
With 7.6 seconds remaining, Bear Lake needed a miracle. Just a few minutes prior, the game seemed destined for overtime. In a tie game, Melba was attempting to dribble out the final two minutes of clock to ensure it got the last shot.
Matthew Hammond ruined that plan. The B.L. senior forward stole the ball and drew a foul on the other end of the court. After Hammond knocked down one of two from the line, Melba drove hard to the rim and got its own chance at the charity stripe. The Mustangs hit both shots to take a one-point lead.
This is where Bear Lake found itself relying on a miracle.
The plan was to get the ball to sophomore Brady Shaul, who had been Bear Lake’s best scorer all tournament, and let him drive to the hoop. If there was a lane, he could take it. If there wasn’t, he could kick it out to shooters in the corner.
Shaul caught the ball on the inbounds but was immediately double-teamed. The Bears should have expected that. Not necessarily the extra help on Shaul, but that their plan would be foiled. All week long, nothing went right for Bear Lake. Why would that change at the end?
Bear Lake fell in the first round after shooting under 40% and committing 19 turnovers in a loss to Ambrose. The Bears played even worse in the next game, yet pulled out a ugly 30-25 victory. In that consolation semifinal, they shot 19% from the field, but forced New Plymouth into two-dozen turnovers.
Over the three games in Boise, Bear Lake hit 9 of its 50 3-point attempts … and brought home a trophy.
“Out of 12 quarters of basketball, we may have played a quarter the way we did during the conference tournament,” Bear Lake coach Brandon Carlsen said. “I’m so happy for the kids. Down the stretch, we lost two games in the last 14 (and won the conference title).”
OK, back to Saturday.
Saul was doubled before midcourt and dished it to his trailing inbounds man, Keaton Carlsen. This is where Melba’s defense fell apart. As Carlsen approached the 3-point line, four Melba defenders swarmed on him, leaving the sophomore with three open teammates. He threw the ball to Teuscher.
“I just remember catching it in the corner,” Teuscher said. “The defender jumped at me to tried and steal it. He went last me I drove in. It all happened so quick.”
Teuscher caught the ball with under three seconds on the clock. The momentum of his defender had freed up a lane to the hoop and Teucher made a v-line for the rim. At that point every defender rushed at him to disrupt the shot.
Good thing is, Teuscher is 6-foot-5 and hair under 180 pounds. He leapt up, twisting his body so his shoulders were parallel with the backboard. There was enough contact to draw for the ref to blow his whistle, but it was mere turbulence to the jetliner rising to the rim.
The ball fell through the hoop an instant before the buzzer rounded.
“I was just so excited,” Teucher said. “It got crazy and loud in there. Everyone came around me and it was awesome. It was really nice to end on a big win like that.”
BEAR LAKE 43, MELBA 42
Bear Lake 14 13 7 9 — 43
Melba 12 11 8 11 — 42
Bear Lake — Teuscher 16, Hammond 11, Shaul 6, Schreiber 4, Beresford 2, Burbank 2, Carlsen 2.
Melba — Volkers 13, Leavitt 11, Reiter 6, Clark 6, Lowber 4, Stosich 2.