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BOYS BASKETBALL: Micah Colburn hits the winning 3-pointer with 5.6 seconds left

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Damascus Christians Micah Colburn fights through a crowd of defenders for a first-half bucket. He would hit the winning 3 with 5.6 seconds left.

Valley 10 title game

Team Score
#1 Damascus Christian
#3 Life Christian

PORTLAND — The Damascus Christian boys basketball team had not held the lead all night, so with less than 10 seconds to play junior guard Micah Colburn decided the time was now.

Coming out of a timeout down by two, Damascus Christian used a pair of quick passes before the ball ended up in the hands of Nate Bogdan at the elbow. He and teammate Spencer Powers created a blockage near the free-throw line when Bogdan shoveled a pass back to Colburn a full step behind the 3-point arc.

Colburn had the choice of driving the lane for the tie or firing a 3 for the win.

With his defender still fighting over the top of the screen, Colburn stepped back and let the shot fly. The deep 3 ripped the net to give No. 1-ranked Damascus Christian the 37-36 win over No. 3 Life Christian in Saturday's Valley 10 championship game.

"I could have gone to the basket, but I thought 'Nope, I'm going to shoot this and hope it goes in,'" Colburn said.

"That shot came from farther away than the play is planned for, but we felt like we were getting into a rhythm heading into that last possession, and we assumed their big guy (Kobe Jenson) would be protecting the key," Damascus coach Brad Patrick said.

Still, Life Christian had 5.6 seconds to come up with a winning shot of its own.

The Lions spent much of that time getting the ball to halfcourt before spending a timeout with less than two ticks remaining.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Damascus Christians Nate Bogdan looks for a way past Life Christian center Kobe Jenson.

Damascus Christian subbed senior Jesse deLambert into the game to guard the inbounds pass. The switch provided the Eagles with a mismatch, as its tallest player with long arms extended up high stood a foot away from Lions' guard Blake Lambert — the shortest player on the floor.

"We were expecting some sort of lob, so I used my height to block his view," deLambert said.

Lambert had nowhere to go with the ball. Late in the count, he started to motion for a timeout only to realize his team had none left. In desperation, he heaved the ball into the backcourt for center Kobe Jenson, who twisted toward the basket and let loose with a wild heave that sailed well wide of the target.

With the win, Damascus Christian (24-1) earns a first-round bye in the 1A playoffs and will host game Saturday, needing just one win to punch its ticket to Baker City.

Life Christian had Damascus doubled up 20-10 late in the first half when Lambert knocked down a 3-pointer, followed by a runner from the baseline.

Damascus helped itself coming out of the locker room when Life's 6-foot-6 center Jenson was hit with a pair of fouls not even two minutes into the half. That put him one foul from disqualification, and Life coach J.S. Nash had little choice but to take him off the floor for most of the third quarter.

The Eagles started to claw their way back late in the third quarter with Zach Nelson and deLambert earned five-second, closely-guarded calls on back-to-back possessions.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Damascus Christians Jacob Zakharyuk drives the lane on his way to a game-high 19 points in Saturdays 37-36 win over Life Christian.

Eagles' guard Jacob Zakharyuk drove the baseline, took a big jump stop to get back in front of the glass and converted a layup. A few minutes later, he drained a 3-pointer from the left side to pull Damascus within two with 3:18 to play.

"Our past is that we are a comeback team, so we knew it wasn't over. We just needed to hit some shot and get back in it," Zakharyuk said.

Colburn sank a deep 3 to make it a one-point game as the clock slipped under a minute.

Lambert knocked down a pair of free throws for Life.

Damascus spent about 20 seconds searching for a tying 3, but the Lions were aggressively defending the arc. Finally, Colburn ducked his shoulder and stepped through the lane for two points to bring the Eagles within 35-34 with 24.8 seconds left.

Life Christian went 1-for-2 on its next trip to the line, setting up Damascus' winning possession.

Zakharyuk finished with a game-high 19 points, while Colburn added 12 for the Eagles.

View photos at ...

Valley 10 title game

LIFE CHRISTIAN 13 7 8 8 — 36

DAMASCUS 6 6 10 15 — 37

Life Christian (36) — Blake Lambert 14, Huynh 13, Jenson 9, Woods, Reyes, Porpora.

Damascus Christian (37) — Jacob Zakharyuk 19, Colburn 12, Powers 2, Bogdan 2, deLambert 2, Nelson, Brandon.

This story is scheduled for our Tuesday, Feb. 25, sports front.

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