Henry 3-pointers lift Kimball over Yates 78-75

Yates players warm up ahead of their game with Dallas Kimball. Dallas ended up winning 78-75 (ABC13 sports)

March 10, 2012 9:09:19 PM PST
Torrey Henry scored only two baskets for Dallas Kimball in the Class 4A state final, but those were 3-pointers in the final 29 seconds that lifted his team to another crown and put him in state tournament lore.

Henry struck twice from the right corner, the second giving Kimball the lead with 12 seconds left, and Kimball won its second consecutive 4A championship Saturday with a 78-75 win over Houston Yates.

"I had confidence in Torrey," said Kimball's Darian Hancock, who passed up a shot when he saw Henry open in the corner for the game-winner. "I was going to take it until I saw him."

Henry's first 3-pointer pulled Kimball within 75-73 and the second made it 76-75. After Henry's second shot, Yates threw an errant pass down court that resulted in a turnover. Kimball's Shannon Lilly Jr. made two free throws with six seconds to play for the final margin.

Lilly was named the game's most valuable player with 27 points on 8 of 12 shooting, including five 3-pointers. His last 3-pointer pulled Kimball within 72-70 with 1:43 to play. Keith Frazier scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Kimball (34-5).

Yate's Damyean Dotson scored 23 but missed a 3-pointer to tie it in the final seconds.

"I'm so excited I can't even start crying," Kimball coach Royce Johnson said. "I've always told these guys you are players ... don't be afraid to make a play and (Henry) didn't hesitate. A great shot."

The 4A final was a classic Dallas-Houston matchup and was the most anticipated game in this year's tournament. Yates and Kimball had won the previous three 4A championships and Yates beat Kimball for the 2009 title. Yates (33-6) wanted another for a parting shot. The Lions are moving down to Class 3A next season.

When Dotson's final shot missed, Yates players collapsed while Henry and his teammates danced and hugged at midcourt.

"We had a look at the end. They made theirs, we missed ours," Yates coach Greg Wise said.

It took a while for the fireworks to start in a game that featured few of the showtime dunks and passes both teams displayed in the semifinals. Both teams seemed to be tense and combined for 48 turnovers

Yates had plenty of chances to put the game away in the fourth quarter. Yates twice held seven-point leads in the fourth and was up 75-70 after a free throw by Chris Wells with 44 seconds left.

After Henry's first 3-pointer, Yates' Dotson and Darrion Martin both missed free throws that would have stretched Yates' lead. Henry made his game-winner over Dotson's outstretched right arm.

"I had to step in and shoot with confidence and follow through," Henry said.

Kimball won its fifth state championship overall and sent its rival packing to the Class 3A with a crushing loss.

"I'm not really caught up in back-to-back (championships)," Johnson said. "(But) we'll keep loading that trophy case up."