The ball was in the hands of the very person Wayzata coach Bryan Schnettler wanted it in. Senior guard Hayden Tibbits ran down the clock, then stepped into the lane and made a 15-foot pullup jumper with 1.1 seconds remaining, lifting Wayzata to a 79-77 victory Thursday over Lakeville North in the Class 4A semifinals of the boys basketball state tournament at Target Center.
Wayzata built a lead that reached 20 points early in the second half, lost all of it and fell behind by four, then regrouped, setting the stage for Tibbits' heroics.
Tibbits, who finished with 24 points, said staying positive after losing a big lead was simply a matter of having faith your teammates.
"You've got to have some mental toughness and trust in the guy next to you," he said. "Trust that everyone knows what they're doing. We've been here before, so we had to relax and take one play at a time. That's all you can do when that big of a swing happens."
Tibbits gave credit to his teammates for their execution leading to his game-winner. "We kind of worked it around until it got to one-shot time," he said. "We ran a play, Jackson [McAndrew] had a great screen. I saw a little bit of a lane, went in a little bit, took a shot and it went in."
Schnettler looked down the postgame interview table at Tibbits and McAndrew, who finished with a game-high 28 points.
"Get the ball in one of these two guys' hands and they're going to make a play," he said. "I have full confidence in both of them to hit a game-winning shot."