4A boys' basketball: Moore's miracle lifts Sky View into title game
Ogden • Legendary.
That's what Jalen Moore is now. That's what he's earned. That's what happened when his half-court heave in an overtime game against a team that had won 20 consecutive games graced nothing but twine after the horn blared.
That's what happens when you will your team back from the depths.
"Two dribbles to the right," Moore said. "I love that shot."
In what was one of the best playoff games in recent history. Moore's half-court buzzer-beater sent his Sky View Bobcats to the Class 4A state championship. The final points of the night, the miracle shot, put Sky View three points ahead of Bountiful, 63-60, on Friday night.
"That's a dream come true, you know?" said Sky View assistant coach Jimmy Moore, Jalen's father. "He just hit the shot to take the team to the state championship game."
It was a perfect cap to a perfect final 30 seconds for the Bobcats, who trailed the Braves 58-54 after Bountiful junior Sam Merrill scored three of his game-high 35 points. From there, it was junior Braxton Godderidge who swished three clutch free throws to cut the Bountiful deficit to one.
Following two Merrill free throws, the ball eventually made its way to Moore, who drained a 3-pointer in the corner, directly in front of his teammates, to tie the game 60-60 with 8.3 seconds remaining.
And while Moore's half-court prayer will be etched into the minds of those in attendance Friday, it was junior Bryan Dority who gave his star a chance to win the game when he pounced on a loose ball with 2.9 seconds remaining.
The rest? History. Legendary. Two dribbles to the right. The shot he loves.
"All heart," said Sky View senior Matt Dewey, who finished with 18 points and eight rebounds.
In Sky View lore, in 4A playoff lore, Jalen Moore now will be synonymous with "The Shot," a release that has propelled the Bobcats known for early playoff exits into the Class 4A state championship game against region rival Mountain Crest on Saturday.
"These guys just refuse to quit, and they refuse to lose," Jimmy Moore said.
Such was the case when the Bobcats squandered a seven-point fourth-quarter lead to Merrill's phenomenal evening. A four-point deficit with 30 seconds? Sky View outscored Bountiful 9-2 in half a minute.
Moore's shot, in all its glory, hung high into the Ogden night as fans in the Dee Events Center held their breath. Even Moore had a chance to recover from his full-speed sprint and watch.
"It was luck, but we mess around in practice shooting half-courters, and I just got lucky and got one to fall," he said.
A legendary stroke of luck.