BENZONIA -- For 32 minutes, Leland and Buckley played to a standstill in the Class D regional basketball final here Wednesday night.
It took a free throw by Drew Corwin with no time left on the clock to give Buckley a dramatic 67-66 win.
It was Buckley's second regional title in school history.
"I shot 100 free throws before the game," Corwin said. "There's no way I was missing that free throw. No way."
Corwin was fouled trying to grab a rebound as the clock expired. It was a call that was immediately challenged by Leland coach Jon Kiessel.
"The way every single game has been called all season, the way every game has been called here, that's a call that should not decide a basketball game," he said. "With no ticks on the clock you have two kids up in the air fighting for the ball and there's a foul called -- and it's the game winner. It's unfortunate, but it's life. It hurts."
The Comets had tied the game at 66 on a Calvin Gibson basket with six seconds remaining. Buckley called time with 4.3 seconds to go. The Bears got the ball to Zach Hartzell. His shot bounced off the rim and the foul was called just as the clock hit :00.
After a brief meeting, the officials ruled that Corwin was fouled before the horn sounded. Since Buckley was in a double-bonus situation. Corwin had two free throws coming. He needed just one.
"I wanted to get it done," he said.
Buckley players and fans swarmed the court after he drained the game-winning shot.
"It's surreal," Buckley coach Rene LaFraniere III said. "Those are the things you dream about as a kid -- no time on the clock and you're shooting a free throw to decide the game. Now, here I am with a 17-year-old kid on my team in this situation.