In a game where seemingly nothing was going their way, Chrisman never wavered. After building a 13 point lead after one quarter, Deer Creek battled their way back with great defense and even better offense, closing the deficit to 4 at halftime.
The two teams battled back and forth throughout the rest of the game, eventually needing OT to settle it once and for all.
That’s when Chrisman decided to lean on one of their most experienced guards, Zachariah Rowe, to get the job done.
With the final seconds waning, and Chrisman holding the ball, Rowe drove the lane to the basket for the game-winning layup all while finishing through contact with 1.7 seconds left. The crowd erupted after the ball went through the net, but it looked like just another shot for Rowe.
Like he’s done it time and time again.
Rowe missed a crucial free throw late in the fourth quarter that could have given them a one point lead and possibly the win, but he made sure not to miss his second chance.
“My teammates rely on me in big moments, and counted on me to step up,” said Rowe. “And that’s exactly what I did. Stepped up in the big moment. I just thank my teammates for having the faith in me to take the last shot and I finished the game.”
A lot of teams could give up huge runs to opposing teams after having a second quarter like Chrisman had, but the veteran leadership kept everything under control.
That’s why the message coming out of halftime for Chrisman was simple, keep your composure and slow things down.
“Coach told us it started on defense and that’s exactly where it started. Got us all buckets,” said Rowe.
Rowe finished with 20 points to add to his game-winning shot, with his backcourt running mate Isaiah Jackson finishing with 16. Deer Creek’s Jerry Tullis finished with 28, and multiple three-pointers.
Chrisman faces cross-town rival Truman today at 2:30pm for the Phog Allen Invitational Championship, which will certainly have tensions high and a high energetic atmosphere from the crowd.
“Play our game. Defense is our main focus. Just start on defense and that’s going to win us a championship.”