When the Class C boys state basketball game got under way last March at Rimrock Auto Arena, it began to look like a coronation for Rocky Boy.
The unbeaten Stars had disposed of their first two opponents, impressively beating Culbertson by 15 in the semifinals. Twin Bridges had a tougher time beating Scobey in its semifinal game. It wasn’t until Jake Schmit threw a long pass to Clay Pierson for a layup was the Falcons’ victory secure.
Schmit, however, was to play an even bigger role the next evening. But nobody could have imagined that when Rocky Boy rolled out to a 26-8 lead in the second quarter. The Stars were poised to win their first state championship.
It didn’t happen as the Falcons staged one of the most dramatic comebacks I’ve ever seen, especially considering the circumstances.
Twin Bridges just wouldn’t fold and the Falcons ended up claiming the championship with a sensational 63-61 victory before 9,000 screaming fans.
In the early going, the Falcons just couldn’t get anything to drop against the Stars. Pete Anderson managed to hit a couple of 3-pointers and Pierson put one down to get Twin Bridges within 12 points at halftime. But their shooting was still awful (14 percent).
With Schmit leading the way, that totally turned around in the second half when the Falcons made 51 percent of their shots. Schmit went 6 of 9, including a trio of 3-pointers, as the Falcons crept ever closer to the Stars.
With time running down, Schmit got the ball in the corner and buried a 3-pointer with 12 seconds remaining.
“I just shot,’’ Schmit said. “I wasn’t thinking much. It just went in.’’
That meant joy for the Falcons and heartbreak for the Stars. There’s no question Rocky Boy was a tremendous team. The Stars just couldn’t totally regain that first half momentum.
In the end, it was a championship effort by both teams. But it’s the Falcons who go into the record books.