With a little more than four seconds on the game clock, Kevin Knox pushed the ball up court as defenders swiped at it. He pulled up from the 3-point line and let the ball fly.
As the buzzer sounded, Knox’s shot banked off the backboard and went in. The crowd went wild as the Knox-led Tampa Catholic beat Cary High School 71-69.
Knox, a 6-9, 205-pound five-star recruit, and ranked in the top 10 on all scouting websites, did not disappoint Tuesday night. He’s being recruited by both Duke and North Carolina.
“I don’t know if Kevin called glass on that last shot or not but I guess the banks were open here in North Carolina on Tuesday night,” Tampa Catholic coach Don Dziagwa said.
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Knox said it was the first game-winning buzzer beater in his life.
Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel, and assistants John Scheyer and Nate James were there, as well as UNC assistant coach Hubert Davis.
Before the game, Knox’s team had a shoot around at UNC and toured the campus. On Wednesday, they did the same at Duke, then attended the Tar Heels’ game against Monmouth that night.
“The team really liked it,” Knox said of the tour at UNC Tuesday. “It’s a great facility. They treat us well. The managers walked us around. We toured, was able to practice in the practice arena. But my whole team is grateful for me and glad they were able to visit UNC and get an opportunity to tour it.”
Knox will have his official visit to UNC on Feb. 4.
Knox, who is also being recruited by Kentucky and Florida State, was quiet in the first half against Cary but exploded with 28 points in the second half.
But none was bigger than the buzzer-beating 3-pointer that sent the Cary crowd into a frenzy and Knox and his teammates celebrating on the court. Knox finished with 38 points and 17 rebounds. He shot 12 for 25 from the floor and was 10 for 12 from the free throw line. He also added two blocks.
Knox said that before the final play, he went out with the mindset that “big players take big shots.”
“When I looked at it, it looked straight,” Knox said. “When I saw it, it looked hard, but I knew it was going to hit the glass. But I’m glad it hit straight down the middle and went straight through the net.”
Tampa Catholic will play Jay M. Robinson of Concord in the TJ Warren bracket at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Broughton. Jay M. Robinson is led by Lavar Batts, a 6-2, 160-pound senior point guard. He’s the No. 1-rated recruit in North Carolina and No. 98 overall, according to 247sports.com.