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June 2012
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Moment No. 3: Chumbler's shot earns Sweet 16

Kam Chumbler lived his dream on March 11.

His McCracken County Mustangs were tied at 41 with Marshall County in the final moments of the first overtime of the First Region boys basketball championship. The winner would advance to the state tournament.

Jason Armstrong produced a turnover that gave the Mustangs possession with 22.2 seconds left and passed to Chumbler. Chumbler crossed the timeline and began dribbling. Ten seconds remained.

Chumbler finally moved forward, trying to pass his defender. Five seconds remained.

He juked his defender with a crossover, faking left and going right. 3.6 seconds remained.

Chumbler, just a 6-foot point guard, then charged into the lane and lifted a floater before the 6-foot-7 Austin Rentfrow and the 6-foot-4 Collin Travis, Marshall County's interior defenders, could contest. 3.2 seconds remained.

The shot bounced off the front of the rim, hit the backboard and fell in. 2.8 seconds remained.

Mustangs coach Burlin Brower covered his face and told himself he had finally won a First Region championship. Armstrong, unsure whether Chumbler had made the shot, began racing back on defense. Chumbler began celebrating. The clock hit 0.0.

McCracken County 43, Marshall County 41.

The Mustangs beat then-31-1 Wayne County in the first round of the state tournament before losing to Bowling Green in the quarterfinals.

Chumbler's shot wouldn't have been possible without Armstrong's turnover at the other end of the court.

"He drove in, and I just - I don't know if he lost it. He threw it right to me," Armstrong said. "It felt too easy almost."

Armstrong passed to Chumbler, just like Brower told his players to do in the final moments of close games. Chumbler's plan was to shoot, but if the Marshals defense collapsed on him, he'd pass to Jared Burnett, who was open for a 3-point attempt.

That never happened. Chumbler produced a game-winning shot that survives on YouTube.

"It's something everybody dreams about, counting down 3-2-1 and shooting a shot like that," Chumbler said. "Making it a reality was a blessing. It's something I'll never forget."

--Daniel Paulling

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