Rock Canyon junior Sam Masten remembers watching Chaparral's Josh Adams' last-second tip-in that beat Arapahoe in overtime 69-67 in the 2012 Class 5A state championship game at the Coors Events Center.
Masten had a key role in a last-second victory that was reminiscent of Chaparral's win when the fifth-seeded Jaguars edged No.4 Grandview, 42-40, on Nick Janedis' tip-in as the final buzzer sounded in a thrilling March 4 Class 5A state tournament quarterfinal game at the Denver Coliseum.
“I used to go to every single Final Four and Great 8 like from sixth to 10th grade,” Masten said. “It was really cool to get to play in a Great 8 game, and our game reminded me a lot of that championship game. It was crazy.”
Rock Canyon trailed 40-38 with 19.5 seconds remaining.
Colin Rardin made the tying basket for the Jaguars with 4.7 seconds on the clock. Masten then stole the ball after the inbounds pass, drove to the basket but his shot went off the rim. Janedis tipped the ball back into the basket at the buzzer.
Video replays confirmed by the Colorado High School Activities Association showed the ball was on the rim when the buzzer sounded and Janedis' only basket of the game counted.
“Sam denied the pass and I saw him driving,” Janedis said. “I just got under the basket to see what happens and the ball came my way. I was happy I was able to follow through.
“It's a great feeling. I didn't know if it counted or not. Then my team started attacking me. I was like, `it went in. ' "
Rock Canyon went to a zone defense midway through the fourth period in an attempt to slow Grandview's 12-4 production on points in the paint.
The defensive switch bothered Grandview for a couple minutes but two 3-pointers by Ben Boone sandwiched around Masten's layup gave the Wolves a 40-38 lead with 19.5 seconds remaining following an adjustment of time by the officials.
“They hit that three to go up by two with like 15 seconds left,” Masten said. “We drew up a play and they ran zone so we really couldn't run it. Colin made a heck of a play, he drove the middle and made like a hook shot and it went in.
“There's was about five seconds left and they (Grandview) didn't know what to do. The kid was running away from me and I just jumped in and stole the ball. I tried to go in and get a foul, and I think I got fouled but they didn't call it. The ball just came off the rim and 'Jase' just tapped it in. The rest is history. It happened so fast.”
It was Rock Canyon's first appearance in the quarterfinals, and the fifth-seeded Jaguars will take a 23-3 record into a March 9 semifinal game at 8:30 p.m. against top-seeded Eaglecrest at the Denver Coliseum.
Rock Canyon beat Eaglecrest, 60-55, on Dec. 6.
Junior guard Tyson Gilbert scored 14 points to spark Rock Canyon against Grandview. Masten finished with 13 points and eight came in the second half.
Canyon coach Kent Grams called timeout after Boone's second 3-pointer pushed Grandview into the lead.
“I called timeout and told them, 'You have to believe,' ” Grams said. “We are battle tested. We've played a really tough schedule. We had to believe and just make plays."