The King’s Way Christian boys basketball team hadn’t played a game since Dec. 31, hadn’t practiced that much and was down two starters.
So when Giovanny Evanson’s potential game-winning 3-point shot bounced high off the back of the rim, it looked the Knights would open Trico League play with a loss to Castle Rock.
But then there was Brayden Schiefer, a sophomore, a role player, a quarterback.
Schiefer pulled down the rebound and put back a shot while falling away. As Schiefer lay flat on his back, the ball bounced once on the rim and went through, giving the Knights a 43-42 come-from-behind victory on Tuesday night.
“I just thought I got to get the rebound,” Schiefer said. “We had a couple of seconds on the clock, got to get a win. … You know, it had a little bounce. It was a little nerve-wracking. But it went in.”
The Knights trailed 36-25 after three quarters. Evanson opened the fourth with eight straight points to get King’s Way within three, but the Rockets stretched their lead back to 40-33.
Three pointers by Aidan Peterson and Evanson got the Knights within 40-39. Both teams traded baskets to put Castle Rock up 42-41 with 20 seconds to go.
Evanson missed a 3-pointer, the Rockets got the rebound and King’s Way fouled with 7.7 seconds left.
After a missed Castle Rock free throw, Alex Fulton pulled down the rebound and fed Evanson, setting up the thrilling finish.
“I told Brayden that’s the benefit of being a multi-sport athlete,” King’s Way coach Daven Harmeling said. “You’re just kind of ready for the moment and know how to compete and you’re willing to accept that this may or may not go in. ‘I may be the hero or I may be feeling terrible about it.’ He’s our quarterback and he’s an awesome kid. So it was fun for him, a kid who is traditionally more of a role player for our team to be in the right spot. It was a testament to his competitiveness and his savvy.”
Evanson had 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter for King’s Way. Lane Partridge scored 10 of his 17 points for Castle Rock in the second half.
Schiefer finished with two points. But they were the most important two points for the Knights.
Had Schiefer ever had a buzzer-beater for the win?
“Uh, not like this,” he said. “Not like this. This was pretty cool.”
KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN 43, CASTLE ROCK 42
CASTLE ROCK — Trystin Marin 12, Trevor Rogen 3, Chance Naugle 0, Chase Rusher 0, Lane Partridge 17, James Montgomery 0, Adam Partridge 10. Totals 18 (4) 2-8 42.
KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN — Aiden Peterson 6, Giovanny Evanson 15, Isaac Pisaczyk 0, Alex Fulton 5, Matthew Belefski 8, Jack Somarakis 4, Will Gunn 3, Brayden Schiefer 2, Austin Klotzer 0. Totals 16 (8) 3-7 43.
Castle Rock 11 13 12 6—42
King’s Way 7 12 6 18—43