When coaches push you to work on crashing the glass, put backs in traffic, taking shots off bad passes, etc., you should always listen. It could win your school a Los Angeles City Section title, as it did for the King/Drew Golden Eagles behind a buzzer beating follow by Ethelbert Anum to win the Division II City title over Van Nuys on Friday evening at the Roybal Learning Center.
“I just had faith,” said Anum in a post game pressser. Calling the shot “the most memorable part of my senior season.”
Anum followed his own miss to break the dead-lock, after Van Nuys’ Tyree Winborn drained a contested corner three to tie it up at 60 with under 20 ticks remaining.
The Golden Eagles remained collected, gave the ball to their Captain at the top of the arc, putting their faith in the senior. Anum drove by Muhjaim Ali, putting up a heavily contested floater which bounced out.
Back into Anum’s arms, who put it up as the clock was approaching three zeroes. A couple of bounces around the rim it went, and fell through as the horn sounded.
“An instant classic,” I heard one fan yell.
“Box out d–n it,” said a Van Nuys supporter in dismay.
“This needs a series,” was a common thought amongst those in attendance, be it fans, alumni, reporters.
Let’s take a trip through the game called “the City section game of the year,” by CIF-LAs official Twitter.
From the tip, one could tell this had the makings of an absolute barn burner. The Wolves stole the tip, unable to capitalize as Anum scored the games first bucket.
Ethan Quiambao came down and hit a three, giving us out first of many lead changes. Already undersized, Josh Updegraph picked up two quick personal fouls, leading to Coach Evan Porter bringing in Ray Gibson earlier than usual.
Winborn got to the bucket and Gibson drained a three, giving the Wolves an 8-6 lead. Gibson then picked up his first personal, leading to Anum splitting a pair and a Billy Clark bucket for our fourth lead change, putting King/Drew up 9-8.
Tied at 13, Winborn starts putting his mark on the game, with a pair of free throws, a mid range jumper and a three point bomb to give Van Nuys a 20-13 lead, prompting Coach Lloyd Webster to burn a time out.
A bucket by the Golden Eagles and a pair of free throws by Ali give the Wolves a 22-15 lead at the end of one.
Fidelis Okereke gets things started in the second period before another Winborn three extends the Wolves lead to 10, 29-19.
Clark draws a vital third foul on Updegraph after Wells and Anum hit back to back scores, burying both of his free throws and cutting the deficit to 29-25.
Teams trade baskets the rest of the way, and the Wolves take a 35-29 lead into the break.
Okereke starts the third out the same way as he did the second, netting the halves first bucket prior to drawing a devastating fourth personal on Updegraph.
Gibson gets the call early in the third, picking up two quick fouls himself to the dismay of Coach Porter.
A three by Kennedy Stitt-Riley brought the Golden Eagles to within 1, and Winborn answered with a bucket, despite being doubled for the majority of the half. Clark and Okereke got the final scores of the quarter, as they took the lead for the first time since the opening period, 44-43. Our sixth lead change.
Gibson gives Van Nuys the lead, Clark takes it back. Bryce Collier extends it to three, Ali cuts it to one, and Coach Porter calls for a time out trying to rally his troops once again.
Then, things turn into King/Drew’s favor, as Updegraph fouls out. Seconds later, Gibson joins him on the bench with five, as rarely used Julian Hicks, a sophomore, gets the call with the Wolves down 51-48.
Sykes and Winborn give us our ninth lead change, alerting Coach Webster to utilize a time out. Clark comes out, scoring five in a row and a 56-52 lead for the top seed.
A pair of Anum free throws sandwich a Hicks bucket and Ali three, as the scoreboard reads 58-57 for King/Drew. Officials missed a clear technical foul on the Golden Eagles after the ball was slammed to the floor following a late turnover.
Missed opportunities led to the Wolves intentionally fouling Anum, who calmly stepped to the line to give his side a 60-57 lead, forcing Coach Porter to using his last time out.
Perfectly executed out of the huddle, Winborn buried a corner three with a hand in his face to tie it all up at 60. And the rest is history.
Billy Clark lead King/Drew with 20, Anum had 19 and Okereke had a dozen for the champs, who are now awaiting state brackets.
Winborn lead all scorers with 25, Sykes had 10, Quiambao with 9 and Ali had 7.