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The greatest game-winning shot to never count

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Published on Mar 3, 2008

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By JOSEPH PERSON, The State

Sat. Mar. 1, 2008 -- Summerville 50, Spartanburg 48

With one incredible shot, the game ended in pandemonium, confusion, and ultimately jubilation for Summerville.

And agony for Spartanburg.

The Green Wave won their first state championship Friday with a 50-48 victory in the Class 4A boys championship game, but not before surviving a last-second heave from the Vikings' Zycorrian Robinson that will be remembered in both communities for years.

Robinson's 60-foot heave rattled through the Colonial Center rim as the buzzer sounded, giving the Vikings what appeared to be a one-point victory. As Spartanburg's players started celebrating, an official waved off the basket, ruling the shot left Robinson's hands after time expired.

All three officials huddled as both teams gathered nearby and Summerville star A.J. Green knelt in prayer. After consulting for about a minute, the call was confirmed.

No basket.

Summerville championship.

Spartanburg players cried while receiving their runner-up medals and Vikings coach Doug Lowe slammed the second-place trophy on the scorer's table and walked away. For a couple of minutes, the scoreboard showed the final score as Spartanburg 51, Summerville 50.

"We're always going to be state champions in the books," Green said. "They can think what they want to think, but we're going to be the state champions."

With Summerville (25-3) up by two with 1.7 seconds remaining, the Green Wave's Bruce Haynes missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Vikings (22-7) grabbed the rebound and shoveled the ball to Robinson, who took one dribble, jumped and released the ball.

Robinson, a senior playing his final game, is convinced the shot was good because he never saw the red backboard light illuminate, indicating time had expired.

"I didn't see no red until after the ball went in the goal, so I don't know how it wasn't possibly good," Robinson said. "I feel like we're the state champions. I feel like they robbed us. I feel my teammates, we're all state champions, no matter what they say."

Lowe said if it had been a college game, the shot would have been reviewed on a replay monitor.

"I let the officials know I think they missed the call," Lowe said. "I sat the second-place trophy on the table. They can fire me. They can fine me. It doesn't really matter to me."

Lost in the commotion was the fact Green won his first state title after finishing second three times — twice in football and once in basketball.

Green, who is headed to Georgia on a football scholarship, pumped in 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds. But Green watched the final 1:13 from the sideline after fouling out for the first time in his career with Summerville clinging to a 47-44 lead.

His teammates held on — barely.

The Green Wave dedicated the championship to Charleston firefighter Louis Mulkey, their former assistant coach who died in the June fire that destroyed the Charleston Sofa Super Store.

Mulkey's widow, Lauren, sat in the first row of seats behind the Green Wave bench and Summerville students chanted "Louis Mulkey!" throughout the second half.

"It's bittersweet because he should be here," Lauren Mulkey said. "He may not be here, but he's been preparing them for this."

Summerville coach Tee Newman reserved a place on the bench in Mulkey's honor, setting a firefighter's helmet on a seat near his assistants.

"There's no doubt in my mind he played a hand in tonight," Newman said. "He told them they were good enough to win in 2008."

SU: A.J. Green 25, Morris 7, Galbreath 6, Millhouse 3, Haynes 7, Pendarvis 2. SP: 48: Zycorrian Robinson 11, Raquentin Miller 15, Sanders 3, Whitmire 6, Burton Jones 11, Fuller 2.

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