YUKON — Hugo guard Trey Johnson bolted away from his defender, securing the ball with enough space to securely run out the final 2.9 seconds.
The Buffaloes led perennial state power Millwood 37-36 in the closing moments of Thursday night's Class 3A state quarterfinals. All they needed was an accurate inbounds pass to complete the wild upset. And they got it.
But what happened next, in one stunning moment filled with jubilation and arena-wide disbelief, flipped the end result on its head, leading to a 38-37 Millwood win and heartbreaking Hugo defeat.
Johnson received the inbounds pass heading toward his own hoop, needing only an innocent dribble or two to close it out. But instead, in a moment of confusion (as his coach would explain it), Johnson lofted a layup toward his own basket, thinking he was going the other way.
“When I saw the kid going that way, I was like, ‘No, he's not. No, he's not ... Oh, yes he is,'” Millwood assistant coach David Samilton recalled. "I couldn't believe it.”
As the buzzer went off, Johnson's layup fell through. And for a brief moment, the entire arena fell silent.
Hugo's raucous crowd went still. Millwood's previously disheartened group of fans took a moment for reassurance, before breaking out in a wild celebration fit for this unlikely of an escape job.The Hugo-Millwood shot, and the photographer who captured it