The final game of the high school basketball season had just about everything -- clutch 3-pointers from unlikely players, nerve-wracking free throw attempts and even a crucial mistake in overtime that may decided the outcome.
The Dimond Lynx didn't hold a lead until overtime, but they gutted out a 57-51 win over the Service Cougars in the Class 4A boys state basketball championship Saturday at the Sullivan Arena.
"This was a really good high school basketball game," Service coach Tyler Moor said. "I thought our kids played their hearts out."
The title is Dimond's first since 2009. The Cougars were making their first championship appearance since their 1991 championship season.
Dimond led 51-50 with less than a minute to play in overtime when there was a scramble for a loose ball. A Service player gained possession of the ball on the floor and tried to call a timeout, not realizing his team didn't have any left.
The resulting technical foul put Dimond senior Brock Crowe on the foul line, where he sank two free throws to give the Lynx a 53-50 lead.
"I was really nervous knowing it meant so much to everyone around me," Crowe said.
Dimond added two more free throws from Crowe and two from Damon Cikanek to cement the win.
Ryden Hines, a 6-foot-8 senior, led the Lynx with 19 points and 13 rebounds and player-of-the-game Colter Lasher, a 6-6 senior, dropped in 14.
Hines said the plan was to keep the score low and try to punish the Cougars in the paint.
"Once the ball was inside, we just made moves and found open shooters," he said.
The Cougars, led by 16 points from Amu Aukusitino, took a commanding lead in the early going, but watched a 10-point halftime lead dwindle.
Farimang Touray, who finished with nine points, seven rebounds and three steals for the Cougars, said the loss was painful.
"It's just the worst feeling," he said. "I think we played hard, but just didn't pull it out."
The Cougars had a chance to win the game in regulation. With the score tied 43-43, Adam Klie lofted a soft runner from the right baseline at the buzzer. The shot glanced off the front of the rim and bounded across the top of the cylinder.
"I thought it was down," Klie said. "I thought maybe I would get a roll or something."
It was the kind of shot every kid dreams of taking, Klie said. A junior, he can take some solace in having a chance to try again next season.
The Lynx don't have to wait till next year. Lasher, one of seven seniors for Dimond, said ending a high school career with a state title is something the whole team worked for.
"Best feeling I ever had in my entire life," he said.
Reach Jeremy Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4335.
Dimond (57) -- Crowe 8; Cikanek 8; Lasher 14; Adams 8; Hines 19.
Service (51) -- Klie 7; Touray 9; Aukusitino 16; Brown 1; Robinson 11; Raguindin 2; Muller 5.
Dimond 5 11 12 15 14 -- 57
Service 13 13 11 6 8 -- 51