Miracle 85-footer is shot heard round the tournament | 4A Boys Notebook
Players, coaches and fans were still talking Saturday about Jordan Chatman's 85-foot basket for Union in the semifinals on Friday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
TACOMA — It was the shot of the tournament.
With 0.5 seconds left in Union's 52-51 semifinal loss to Central Valley Friday, Jordan Chatman caught a missed free throw and flipped with frustration an 85-foot shot that sailed the length of the floor.
"It was nuts," Union coach Maco Hamilton said.
Chatman added, "It was a crazy shot. I've never made a full-court shot. I never practice it."
It almost tied the game. Chatman banked in a three that cut the deficit to three in the final seconds. Then, with 1.5 seconds to play, there was a timeout. During the stop in play, officials informed Hamilton the shot was a two, not a three.
Four-point game. Union fouled and Central Valley missed a pair of free throws. The second miss fell right to Chatman. He fired the ball down the floor.
"I thought it should have been a three-point game so, being competitive, I wanted to win," the senior said. "It felt good when I released it."
When it went in, he made sure the officials counted it. Hamilton wasn't looking at the shot. He heard the crowd's reaction and thought to himself, "go figure."
Hamilton watched the film and said Chatman's first shot should have been a three. However, he added, one play doesn't change a game.
"At the end of the day, we didn't play well enough to win," Hamilton said. "We didn't execute the way we were capable of. It's kind of disappointing."
Union channeled any lingering frustration into a 62-51 win over Bellarmine Prep for third place on Saturday.
"When we woke up this morning, we had a new sense of vigor for the game," Hamilton said. "The expectations were high, but we were ready to go."
Final Garfield game a disappointment
Garfield coach Ed Haskins doesn't judge his teams by state championships, but he thinks anything short of a title is falling short in the eyes of Bulldogs faithful.
It's hard for Haskins to see it that way, even in the shadow of the school's 11 state titles.
"It was a good learning experience," said Haskins, who team took sixth. "You have to stay hungry and you have to want it. The beast of Garfield and the perception is (that) nothing else is acceptable but a state championship.
"I don't judge them by the win or the loss. I judge this team by how they got the win or loss."
Haskins was harsh on his final grade for the Bulldogs against Mount Rainier Saturday.
"It was a D," he said. "I love my team and they've been great all year, and we're overachievers. I think we did more with less than we every have here. Today, we didn't come out with the right attitude."
It was the school's 31st top-six state finish.
Rodgers leaves with better memories
Mount Rainier's fourth-place finish helped Rams senior guard Malik Rodgers erase memories of his experience at state two years ago as a sophomore. The Rams, then a 3A team, went 0-2 with Rodgers a sophomore point guard.
"It was a nightmare," said Rodgers. "We had a lot of seniors on our team that year, and I feel like I let them down. I air-balled a free throw in front of everybody, too."
He cried in the locker room and was consoled by teammates, but he couldn't erase the feeling until Saturday.
"I just wanted to celebrate with my teammates," Rodgers said after Saturday's 66-63 win over Garfield. He averaged 13.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists in three state-tournament games this year.
Freelancer Matt Massey contributed to this report.