Topeka Starting guard Brandon Hamm hit one basket Saturday night.
It came with four seconds left to give Lawrence High a 61-59 win over Topeka West at Hayden's gym and its first Topeka Invitational Tournament title in five years.
All that, and it wasn't even supposed to be his shot to hit.
"We were going to our marquee player, Maurice Trotter," Lawrence High coach Ron Weber said. "Probably everybody in the whole building knew we were going to Maurice. Why not?"
No reason. Trotter had hammered the Chargers for 24 points and 10 rebounds.
SO WHEN the Lions called time with 22 seconds left and the score tied at 59, Weber gave Trotter the word.
"I told him, `With about eight seconds left, just take what you've got,'" Weber said. "I wanted to go with about eight seconds so if we missed we'd have time for a rebound and another shot."
Going with Trotter was sound strategy. He took the ball on the left side of the key, drove and pulled up for a 15-foot jumper.
Going for the shot with eight ticks left was the winning move. Trotter's shot hit the rim, bounced up and came off to Hamm on the backside, where he stuck a short jumper for the game winner.
"It looked like it was going in," Hamm said of Trotter's shot. "It bounced up and No. 52 for them (Scott Petersen) timed his jump wrong. When he came down, I went up and got it."
"WE KNEW they were going to go to Maurice," West coach John Oestreich said. "We got him stopped, but we didn't rotate back to the other side to help on the boards."
The Chargers immediately called time out, then managed to get off a guarded three-pointer by Michael Luarks that bounced off the front of the rim as time expired.
Lawrence's game-winning shot was the last of three critical momentum swings.
The first came with 5:38 left before halftime. Topeka West had scored seven straight points to build a nine-point lead when the Lions called time out. They emerged from the huddle to hit three-pointers on consecutive possessions to cut the lead quickly to to three. It was tied, 31-31, at halftime.
The other important swing for came with 4:49 to play and Lawrence leading, 53-45. At that point, the Chargers stiffened on defense and clawed back into contention.
"WE LOST our composure a little bit in the last three or four minutes, but we fought through that and ended up winning the game," Weber said.
For that, the Lions could thank Trotter, who held them together and inspired them down the stretch with a baseline drive and thundering dunk at 1:23.
"They had the home crowd, and they were rocking and rollin'," Trotter said. "I just put it out of my mind. With me being the leader, I had to step it up a notch."
Lawrence used 12 players, but Michael Cosey was the only other Lion in double figures with 10 points.
"That's the best team we've played this year," Oestreich said. NOTES
Lawrence improved to 10-1 on the season. Topeka West dropped to 10-2. Its other loss was to Topeka High.
The Lions won their fifth Topeka Invitational title. West has yet to win one.
The Chargers were led by guard C.B. McGrath with 17 points. Jonathan Payne added 15 and Luarks 12.
LHS will play Tuesday at home against Washburn Rural.
Jeff Oatis 3-6 0-0 7, Brandon Hamm 1-4 0-0 2, Michael Cosey 4-8 2-3 10, Maurice Trotter 11-21 2-2 24, Jeff Miller 3-6 0-1 6, Steve Walker 3-4 2-2 9, Adam Green 0-1 0-0 0, Tim Turner 0-1 0-0 0, Jan-Eric Anderson 1-1 0-0 3, Brad Harker 0-3 0-0 0, Mike Schwartz 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 26-59 6-8 61. TOPEKA WEST (59)
Danny Holmer 0-2 0-0 0, Jonathan Payne 3-5 6-10 15, C.B. McGrath 6-10 3-4 17, Michael Luarks 6-10 0-2 12, Gene Petersen 1-3 0-0 2, Bruce Jost 1-2 2-2 4, Scott Petersen 1-5 0-0 2, Travis Jost 3-5 1-2 7. Totals 21-42 12-20 59. Lawrence 16 15 14 16 61 Topeka West 17 14 11 17 59
Total fouls Lawrence 21, Topeka West 15. Three-point goals Lawrence 3-15 (Anderson 1-1, Oatis 1-2, Walker 1-2, Hamm 0-1, Green 0-1, Turner 0-1, Harker 0-2, Miller 0-2, Cosey 0-3, Topeka West 5-11 (Payne 3-3, McGrath 2-5, Holmes 0-1, Luarks 0-1, S. Petersen 0-1). Turnovers Lawrence 10, Topeka West 10.