South shocks East, hits buzzer beater to win 4A boys basketball State Championship

Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 3:11 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - After losing the Cook Inlet Conference Championship to Bettye Davis East High School just a week earlier on a buzzer-beater, the South Anchorage Wolverines returned the favor on Saturday night as Zach Williamson’s fadeaway jump shot went through the net as time expired, lifting the Wolverines to a 37-35 victory over the Thunderbirds for the state championship.

“They hit a buzzer on us in the region championship, and from then that’s we’ve thought about,” Williamson said. “So we knew we had to get them back.”

With the game tied at 35 and just 3.2 seconds remaining, Akuvaaq Childress passed the ball in bounds from underneath his own basket with a lob pass over the shoulder of Williamson, who then took one dribble and leaped away from the T-bird defenders, sinking a jumper that will go down in Alaska high school basketball history.

“I knew if we were ever going to win a state championship, it was going to go through Zach Williamson’s hands,” South head coach Jamaal Siah said. “He hit a tough shot, but I knew he was going to be able to do it and I am just so proud of him, all our seniors, all our players, our community, this is a big win for us. I’m just very thankful.”

It has been 14 years since the basketball state championship trophy belonged to South Anchorage High School, and they had to put forth a gritty performance to get it. Not a single player on either team had more than 14 points. The high scorer of the game was Christopher Fuller. In an age where the 3-pointer means everything, both teams combined to make only three shots from beyond the arc, with the Wolverines converting just one 3-pointer.

“It is crazy,” Fuller said. “I can’t even describe it, I’ve been dreaming about this moment. Honestly it’s a great way to end my senior year.”.

South and East had clashed three times prior this season, and each time East came out on top, However, the T-Birds margin of victory got smaller and smaller each time. When the lights were at their brightest, South shined, not backing down from the challenge and winning a game that will likely live on in Alaska basketball lore for years to come.

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