Mayo Sinks Buzzer Beater to Claim District Title over CBC


Owen Boyette , Sports Editor, Basketball Beat-Writer

0.8 seconds remained on the clock, the score sat tied at 64. BJ Ward, looking to pass the ball inbounds, faked down low to Tarris Reed, and then saw Damien Mayo Jr. running right at him.

In a flash, Ward fired a chest pass into the hands of Mayo, and Chaminade’s junior guard took care of the rest.

After securing the basketball, Mayo planted his feet and leapt into the air. A snap of a finger later, and he had launched the ball 28 feet away from the basket. As Mayo’s sneakers hit the hardwood, the Spalding swished through the nylon of CBC’s basket. Damien Mayo had beaten the buzzer, and for the third straight time, Chaminade had beaten the Cadets.

MSHSAA’s Class 6 District 4 was considered a gauntlet. All five of the teams had a winning record. Two of the squads

made it to the 2020 final four. Chaminade and Webster Groves, both Nike Elite High Schools, are considered two of the top three programs in the state. Ladue and Kirkwood had standout years, both hitting double digit wins. Whichever team was left standing in the district would be heavy favorites to contend for and win a Class 6 State Championship. Despite a far from perfect performance, the Red Devils can check “District Champs” off their to-do list.

Making his second start of the season, Jeremiah King started the night’s scoring with a three pointer in front of Chaminade’s bench. Filip Sinobad responded by beating Chevalier Brenson off the dribble, driving to the rim, and laying in the ball to cut the deficit to one. CBC proceeded to score four points off layups by Larry Hughes Jr. and Chevalier

Brenson. Fortunately for Chaminade, Sinobad nailed a three pointer from the far corner to bring the score to 7-5 in favor of the Cadets. CBC’s offense really got going, as the purple and gold finished the 1st quarter on a 13-7 run brining the score to 20-12.

CCP began the 2nd quarter on offense but couldn’t find the bottom of the basket. When CBC transitioned into their half court offense, the ball was fed down low to Eric Holmes who tried to finish over Tarris Reed. Reed was having none of it as he blocked the ball away to protect the basket. Off the outstretched hand of Reed however, the ball found its way to Robert Martin who laid it in putting CBC ahead by 10. Chaminade responded with an 8-0 run however, culminating with a long-range Mayo three pointer which prompted Coach Justin Tatum to call timeout midway through the 2nd quarter.

Following a defensive stop, the Red Devils performed an in bounds play to perfection, as the ball was fed into the paint where Tarris Reed was able to spin around his defender and throw down a monster two-handed dunk, tying the score at 22. CBC’s Kendall Houston sunk a three pointer which reclaimed a three-point lead for the Cadets. Both squads traded baskets back-and-forth until the last five seconds of the half. As Robert Martin brought the ball up the court with 3.6 seconds remaining on the clock, the junior point guard launched a half court three which banked off the backboard and into the net, giving CBC the three point advantage heading into the halftime break.

The initial four minutes and four seconds of the third quarter were fairly even. Both teams traded threes, CCP trailed by 4, and with 3:46 to go in the third, Coach Tatum called timeout. Out of the break, Reed stole the ball from the Cadets, chugged down the court, and finished at the rim for a transition layup. CBC’s turnover and defensive error would be the turning point they needed to spur a 7-2 run to end the quarter up 51-44.

Coach Bennett watched Chevalier Brenson dominate the CCP defense, scoring to easy layups within the first two minutes of the final frame, and with 5:08 left in the game, Chaminade called timeout down 55-46. Both teams proceeded to sink two free throws, but Nilavan Daniel’s three pointer along the far side bend of the three-point arch with three and a half minutes remaining was the catalyst for CCP’s final run.

And though the Cadets raised their lead back to ten by scoring four straight points after Daniel’s three, there was still a clear path to victory for the Red Devils: defend like your life depends on it and convert at the other end. Free throws and layups by both teams brought the score to 54-61, when BJ Ward blew past Larry Hughes Jr. and finished at the rim to cut the deficit to five. CBC responded going one for two at the line, but Chaminade would not be deterred. Walt Straughter darted a pass to his twin brother Nate who fed the ball into the hands of Reed. The four-star center launched high into the air and right into the body of Justice Johnson, Reed dunked the ball over Justice and thunderously down on the rim to make a statement with 1:15 to go.

Both team’s point guards, Martin and Ward, went two-for-two at the charity strike, and the score sat at 64-62 in favor of the Cadets. With less than 30 seconds to go, Tarris Reed spun around Eric Holmes, floated the ball into the basket, and tied the game at 64-64. Chaminade’s pesky full court press and Walt Straughter’s ferocious defense of Rob Martin forced an over-and-back violation giving CCP the ball back with 11 seconds remaining.

The final 11 seconds of game time, which really lasted 15 minutes, captured the intensity of the entire night. BJ Ward beat Johnson off the dribble and had a clear path to rim along the baseline, but decided to reverse the ball by firing a contested pass to Walt Straughter. CBC’s Rob Martin leapt between the two Red Devils, intercepted the ball, and appeared to have a breakaway layup to win the game. As the point guard’s legs began to churn, a squeaky whistle blew indicating that Martin had stepped out of bounds: Chaminade would get the ball back with 1.4 seconds to go. Ward faked a pass to Mayo, and then threw the ball to Nate Straughter along the nearside corner; however, the ball would be deflected and fly out of

bounds leaving CBC with .8 seconds left on the clock to work a miracle.

Having the responsibility of heaving in the basketball, Justice Johnson badly missed all of his teammates and the ball bounced off the top of the backboard. No time ran, and CCP would get the ball back with .8 seconds remaining. Mayo’s miraculous shot followed, Chaminade players, coaches, and fans stormed the court, and the comeback had been completed. CCP defeated CBC 67-64.

Next Game: Tuesday March 9th vs Marquette 6:00 at Chaminade.