Cameron hits buzzer beater to lift Clay to sectional championship win over Washington

The basketball Gods must have something against South Bend Washington high school.

Just 48 hours after the girls team lost in the final seconds of the 4A state championship game, the Panther boys suffered the same fate.

With Washington up two in the final seconds, Clay's Brad Cameron hit an off balanced buzzer beating three pointer to give the Colonials the 4A sectional championship with a 61-60 victory at Mishawaka Monday night.

Cameron had 20 points as pandemonium broke loose once the shot dropped in. The NIC MVP said hitting the shot was the greatest moment of his career.

Fellow senior George Jones, who scored 15 points, broke down crying during his post-game interview. He said he waited his whole life to win this game.

The Colonial student body rushed the court and mobbed the team after the win.

It's Clay's first Sectional Championship since 2005, when the seniors were in 8th grade.

For Washington, It was the second year in a row they lost in the sectional championship in the final seconds. Last year, the Panthers fell to Riley when the Wildcats hit the game winner with 20 seconds to go.

Cameron gave Clay a 4-point lead in the 4th quarter with a three pointer, but Washington went a 6-0 run and took the lead on a Jarrell Henry jumper.

The Panthers pushed the lead to five before Jones hit a bucket to pull Clay within three.

In the final minute, Washington senior Jourdan Vann had a costly turnover and Clay hit 1 of 2 free throws to get within two.

With 35 seconds left, Vann had another turnover but Jones missed the game tying shot with 15 seconds to go and Clay was forced to foul Jarrett Fleming.

Fleming, headed to Central Michigan for football in the fall, had a chance to ice the game with 12.4 seconds left with two free throws. However, he missed the front end of the 1-and-1 and Clay gained possession on a Daniel Smith rebound.

Smith, returning to action after sitting out Friday's semifinal with a knee injury, then found Cameron.

Without any timeouts, Cameron knew it was his shot to miss or make. With three players surrounding him, the senior almost lost his footing, recovered and then buried the three as the buzzer sounded.

Clay led by two after one. Washington led by two at the half. The game was tied heading into the 4th.

The Colonials now advance to regionals where they will meet 22-1 Munster in the 11am EST semifinal Saturday at Michigan City.

Elkhart Sectional champion Memorial will face Valpo in the 2nd game.

The winners advance to the Regional Championship Saturday night.


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