Grizzlies suspend time at end of quarterfinal collapse
As the Golden Grizzlies’ seemingly insurmountable 11-point lead began to shrink, coach Greg Kampe was hording the team’s timeouts in the second half — and for good reason. As the Thunderbirds crept back in the game, Kampe began to unleash them in an effort to prolong the Grizzlies' season.
Kampe used a 30 second timeout four seconds after Reggie Hamilton put the Grizzlies up 81-70 with 3:13 to play. He still had three in addition to the under four-minute media timeout.
|Greg Kampe, master of time suspension|
After a Hamilton turnover, Southern Utah’s Wade Collie stole the ball and converted to cut Oakland’s lead to seven with 2:29 to play.
Hamilton then missed a jumper, which led to a Stevenett jumper to pull within five points with 2:03 to play.
The Thunderbirds’ Ray Jones Jr. committed a foul, which led coach Roger Reid to call a 30-second timeout. Back from the break, Hamilton missed a pair of free throws with 1:28 to play. Stevenett got the rebound before Damon Heuir fed Jones for the layup and the foul (on Travis Bader). Jones hit the free throw and the Grizzlies’ lead was now just two points with 1:16 to play.
Collie then fouled Hamilton, where he split the pair, making the second with 1:16, the only point Oakland scored in the final three minutes.
In the next Southern Utah possession, Heuir hit a 3-pointer, tying the game for the seventh time at 82-82 with 1:09 to play. The Grizzlies had led the previous 17 minutes.
Bader then missed a 3 on Oakland’s next possession, Southern Utah got the rebound and called timeout. Stevenett then hit a lay-up with 12 seconds left to put the Thunderbirds up two.
After Hamilton missed another jumper, Corey Petros put Stevenett on the free-throw line, where he bricked the pair. In between the shots, Kampe began suspending time. With two seconds left, he called the first of three timeouts.
“I had three timeouts, so we called a timeout and we decided that make or miss on the free throw, we would use our timeout and try to get the ball to half court,” he said.
Stevenett missed the second and Oakland called a second timeout. The Grizzlies got the ball across mid-court, and again called timeout (3). The Grizzlies had less than a second to get the final shot.
“In those 2.6 seconds, I’m not sure you’re going to get a good look at it unless the other team makes a mistake unless you throw it long, but we don’t have a really athletic post (to handle the pass)," Kampe said.
“Then we wanted to get the ball to half court where we can run a quick-hitter. I don’t have to draw that up because we have those.”
Hamilton got the call with 0.06 seconds left, took the final shot, but it didn’t appear to get off before the clock expired.
“He got a shot and it would’ve been a prayer either way.”
And like that, the Grizzlies’ shot at a three-peat was over in a matter of three minutes, even though it took much longer to play out. Now, the Grizzlies will spend an entire offseason wondering what could have been.