Dantley Walker had endured “the worst shooting game” of his life Saturday.
That is, until the Lincoln County guard sank perhaps the most memorable shot of his prolific high school career.
Walker drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from just beyond halfcourt to send Lincoln County to a 59-56 win at Agassi Prep in the Class 2A Southern League.
“I knew we had to get a shot up, so I just hoisted it, and it went in,” Walker said after being mobbed by teammates, coaches, cheerleaders and fans. “There was no pressure because it was going into overtime.”
Agassi Prep (6-4, 3-1) appeared to have sent the game into overtime after forward Dimitri Amos hit a 3-pointer from the corner to tie the game at 56 in the final 10 seconds.
But Walker took the ensuing inbound pass, split two defenders and heaved an open look from about 5 feet beyond halfcourt. He hit nothing but net.
“For us to lose a game like this when (the Lynx) have been blowing everybody out, I feel pretty good,” Agassi Prep coach William Hopkins said. “Ten percent of this is coaching; 90 percent of it is the players’ execution of the coach’s decisions. Once they buy into it, they’re going to win. I have no doubt about it.”
Walker shot 6-for-16 from the floor and finished with 16 points — more than 18 below his average. But the junior scored eight points in the final four minutes.
“All I was concerned with was (Walker) had the ball in his hands,” Lynx coach Mike Wood said of the final play. “I’ll roll the dice with that anytime.”
Eric Rippetoe paced Lincoln County (14-2, 5-0) with 27 points. Amos had 20 points and four blocks for the Stars, who had a six-game winning streak snapped.
Agassi Prep’s Quincy Brown had 19 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks, and Anson Williams added 14 points.
“Dimitri Amos is the captain, and he’s running the ship,” Hopkins said. “Once I get the other players to play like this, we’ll be fine. That’s what he does, knocking that (tying) shot down.”