CEDAR RAPIDS — North Scott needed a miracle with less than a second remaining in Tuesday night’s Class 4A regional final against Waterloo West.
The Lancers had just the man for the job.
With just six-tenths of a second on the clock, University of Northern Iowa signee Tytan Anderson fielded a three-quarter court pass, turned, elevated and swished a game-winning 3-point basket as the buzzer sounded to lift second-ranked North Scott to a 41-40 win and a berth in next week’s state tournament.
It was a heartbreaking defeat for third-ranked West, trying to earn its first trip to state since 1994, and the Wahawks thought they had it after Daquavian Walker’s jumper through contact gave West a 40-38 lead.
West coach Cliff Berinobis was convinced a slow trigger on the clock, which was manned by North Scott staff, denied his team a landmark achievement.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got kids in here (the Wahawk lockerroom) and you robbed them,” said Berinobis. “Everybody in this building knows it, including the North Scott fans.
“Common sense would tell you that on the catch, out away from the basket, he turns and shoots ... it’s not humanly possible. I don’t want to discredit them, but that shot shouldn’t count and everybody knows it.
“They’re heartbroken. For four years they changed the culture at West High for this moment.”
North Scott took a 25-19 lead into halftime behind eight points from Anderson and a sagging defense that largely took the lane away from West. The Wahawks hit their first two 3-pointers but missed six times from distance and gave the ball up four times on turnovers while trying to attack the basket.
West fell behind 30-20 with 5 1/2 minutes to play in the third quarter, then started to turn things around. The Wahawks’ defense held the Lancers to two points over the final seven minutes of the quarter and West picked up the pace and attacked the basket on offense.
“We went to our 1 offense and we started dribble-driving a lot more,” said Berinobis. “They wanted to play a slow pace, and we kind of fell in love with that in the first half. We changed it to our pace in the second half.”
By the end of the third period, North Scott’s lead was just 32-29, and 2:15 into the fourth, West was back on top 34-33.
Caleb Haag’s transition dunk tied the game at 38-38 with 2:17 remaining and after Anderson missed the front end of a one-and-one, the Wahawks killed more than a minute of clock and called timeout with :11.9 left to set up a potential game-winner.
Walker delivered with a driving jumper near the elbow, and the buzzer sounded. However, the officials conferred and put .6 back on the clock.
The way it played out, that was enough for Anderson, who finished with 19 points and earned a bear hug from UNI coach Ben Jacobson outside the North Scott lockerroom a few minutes after the game.
“Never hit a buzzer-beater before,” said Anderson, who will lead the Lancers to state for the second straight season. “It was deep. It felt good. I didn’t even look down to see if my feet were set. It was going up no matter what.
“That actually was our second option. Sam (Kilburg) wasn’t open, so they gave it to me.”
North Scott 41, Waterloo West 40
WATERLOO WEST (20-3) — Isaiah Johnson 2 1-2 6, Jaden Keller 3 0-0 7, Antonio Alexander 3 0-0 6, Daquavian Walker 3 1-2 7, Amar Kuljuhovic 1 0-0 2, Mitch Fordyce 1 0-0 3, Caleb Haag 3 2-2 9. Totals 16 4-6 40.
NORTH SCOTT (22-1) — Trent Allard 3 0-0 6, Tytan Anderson 7 4-5 19, Sam Kilburg 4 0-0 10, Landon Elland 1 0-0 3, Carter Markham 1 0-0 3 Cole Kilburg 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 4-5 41.
Waterloo West 12 7 10 11 — 40
North Scott 15 10 7 9 — 41
3-point goals — West 4 (Johnson 1, Keller 1, Fordyce 1, Haag 1), North Scott 5 (Anderson 1, S. Kilburg 2, Markham 1, Elland 1). Total fouls — West 12, North Scott 10. Fouled out — none.