Basketball State Championships: Buhl Vs. Sugar-Salem

DREW NASH • TIMES-NEWS Buhl celebrates their triple overtime win against Sugar-Salem during the 3A boys state basketball championships Thursday, March 6, 2014, at Meridian High School in Meridian.

MERIDIAN - How to explain the second overtime in Buhl's 57-52 triple overtime win in the first round of the 3A state tournament against Sugar-Salem?

"I guess miracles can happen," said Kade Crossland, the primary subject of Thursday afternoon's bizarre finish, which sent Buhl into Friday's semifinal against Kellogg.

"When we were down five (with 20 seconds left in the second overtime), I thought it is just destiny, it is not our time," Buhl head coach Dan Winn said. "After that game, I know it is our time."

Down five with 20.8 seconds left in the second overtime, Kade Crossland was fouled on a 3-point shot, making all three free throws. After a front-end miss of a 1-and-1 on the ensuing possession, Crossland got the ball again, roughly 50 feet further from the spot he was fouled earlier, 1 second left.

It was a shot Crossland said he'd never made before. Luckily for the Indians, he didn't have to.

Crossland was fouled with no time remaining as he chucked.

"I kind of leaned into him to draw the foul and I got it," Crossland said. "I have no idea what he was doing."

"From my view it was a bad call, " said Diggers first year head coach Shawn Freeman. "The referee was closer and saw something. It shocked all of us."

All by himself with a full gym watching, Crossland would either lose, tie or win the game.

Crossland missed the first, swished the second, and watched the game-tying third eke its way over.

In the third overtime, Tegon Tonge scored on two breakaway layups, the second an inbounds steal with the Diggers in position to tie with a 3-pointer, ultimately sealing the improbable win.

"I've never seen a team come back like that in that situation over and over," Winn said. "Sugar had that game won several times. Our kids wouldn't quit. We never say never. It's never over. You keep going with what you practice, with what you believe in, and I'm so proud of my kids."

The underdog Diggers - a different foe from the one the Indians lost to in the consolation final a season ago - proved to be as formidable an opponent at the 3A level as any Buhl had faced all year.

"They had the length to bother us and got out on our 3-point shooters," Winn said.

The Diggers went 5-foot-11, 6-1, 6-1, 6-5 and 6-8 (sophomore center Tim Fuller) in their starting lineup, contesting inside and perimeter shots of Buhl's, and slowing them in transition, a top key according to Freeman.

Kade Crossland scored 25 points, playing 43 minutes.

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Buhl 57, Sugar-Salem 52, 3 OT

Buhl 15 12 10 6 2 5 7--57

Sugar-Salem 7 13 16 10 2 5 2--52

BUHL (57)

Eckert 4-12 4-6 14 , De Kruyf 0-1 0-0 0, Tonge 3-6 2-2 8, Lively 2-6 1-1 5, Kade Crossland 8-21 6-8 25, Kasey Crossland 1-7 2-2 5. Totals: 18-53, 15-19 57.

SUGAR-SALEM (52)

Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Anderson 4-7 0-0 9, Shirley 4-9 0-0 11, Cordon 2-7 0-0 6, Kidd 2-6 0-0 4, Andreasen 1-5 2-2 4, Hawkes 1-2 2-2 4, Fuller 5-9 4-7 14. Totals: 19-46, 8-11 52.

3-point goals: Buhl 6-19 (Eckert 2-5, Kade Crossland 3-9, Kasey Crossland 1-5); Sugar-Salem 6-21 (Miller 0-1, Anderson 1-4, Shirley 3-8, Cordon 2-5, Kidd 0-2, Fuller 0-1). Rebounds: Buhl 33 (Kade Crossland, Kasey Crossland, Tonge 6); Sugar-Salem 33 (Fuller 13). Assists: Buhl 10 (Eckert 5); Sugar-Salem 11 (Andreasen 4). Turnovers: Buhl 13, Sugar-Salem 19. Total fouls:Buhl 13, Sugar-Salem 14. Fouled out: none.

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