BILLINGS — As Tyler Kinghorn walked to the free throw line, he looked to the stands towards his parents.
There was one second on the clock, and his Billings Skyview Falcons were tied 39-39 with Billings West. Kinghorn was fouled on an over-the-back call, so he was heading to the line for a potential game-winning moment in the fourth Crosstown Classic of the year.
He looked towards the stands, and in an ever-humbling moment, his mother had her head in her hands.
"I always look at my parents usually if it's a big moment, and turning and seeing my mom not even looking because she was nervous, it kind of made my heart kind of drop," Kinghorn said with a laugh. "I was like, 'Oh, I better make this.' If my mom is not going to watch then this is huge."
He laughed again, "She looked like she'd fallen asleep or something."
Kinghorn knocked down the first free throw attempt, then intentionally missed the second to run out the clock as Skyview edged West 40-39 in Eastern AA boys basketball on Thursday night at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.
To add to the stress of Kinghorn's free throw, he was 1 for 3 in the game up to that point.
"It was new for me. I've never had a free throw like that," Kinghorn said. "I knew there was one second left and I've gotten beat at the buzzer before so I was kind of just trying to stay focused but on the inside I was really just wanting to jump for joy."
The pair of free throws capped off a wild final minute between the rivals. After West's Cole DeVries tied the game up at 39-39 with 1:09 left to play, Skyview missed its next shot. West took over possession and called a timeout with 17.7 seconds left to go.
Skyview's Logan DeHaven chased down the following inbounds pass, and grabbed possession on the floor just long enough to call a timeout. But, the turnovers didn't stop there. Skyview then threw the ball away on its ensuing inbounds pass, giving West the ball with 10 seconds remaining.
Jesse Owens took West's final jumper but missed, and Carson Prokop was called for over-the-back on Kinghorn as those two and Skyview's Alex Schaaf all reached for the rebound.
"Anytime (Owens and Cade Tyson) shoot the ball my heart stops, similar to what the Deming twins (Braydon and Bryson) were last year," Skyview coach Kevin Morales said. "Kinghorn having to step up and make that free throw, that's a big statement for him and a big confidence boost as well."
After Kinghorn missed his second free throw on purpose, the Skyview bench and players erupted in celebration. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Falcons (4-6, 1-4) and marked their first win of the new calendar year. West drops to .500 at 5-5 and 2-3 in conference.
"I think they were in double-bonus at the start of the fourth quarter and we had three fouls," West coach Kelly Darragh said. "I don't know, I mean, it doesn't help, but if we make a layup and a free throw this game isn't where it was."