BETHANY — When Trevyn Woolbright’s 15-foot, floating jump shot went through the hoop as the final buzzer sounded, Thursday officially took its place as the biggest day in Sterling boys basketball history.
Woolbright hit the game-winning shot to give Sterling its first state tournament victory, 63-61 over Wright City in the Class A first round at Southern Nazarene University.
And Woolbright’s shot gave his father, Bink Woolbright, his 500th career coaching victory.
“It feels unbelievable. Just crazy,” said Trevyn Woolbright, a senior guard who had 16 points in the win. Sterling was 0-2 in its previous state tournament appearances.
Sterling never held a lead during the final 15 minutes, until Trevyn Woolbright’s jumper went through. While Wright City poured in 3-pointers — 12 in all — Sterling had to battle back with strong inside play from Mickey Milam and Dillon White.
Trevyn Woolbright hit a pair of big 3-poitners to answer Wright City earlier in the fourth quarter. But the final play didn’t go as expected.
Trevyn Woolbright took a pass 30 feet from the basket with four seconds left, dribbled to the middle and found open space near the free throw line, where he went up for the game-winner.
“I think the kids were more excited than I was,” Bink Woolbright said. “We just happened to get lucky that it worked out.”
Sterling (28-2) was led by Milam with 26 points. Wright City (22-9) got 20 points from Laiton Hill and 17 from C.J. Nolen.
Sterling will face Glencoe in the Class A semifinals at noon Friday at State Fair Arena.