Josh Thompson has made a game-winning shot more than once in his high school career. He’s done it twice this season.
Jordan (16-1, 4-0) gave Northern (13-5, 3-1) its first PAC-6 loss this year with a thrilling 65-63 win against the Knights last Friday, ended by Josh Thompson’s driving layup in traffic as time expired.
Thompson ended Friday’s game with a team-high 16 points.
Thompson previously had hit a shot from near midcourt Dec. 15 to lift Jordan to a 60-58 win at Chapel Hill, but there were few Falcon fans there to mark the occasion.
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Last Friday at Jordan, things were different. “It was electric out there,” said Northern’s Kentrell Barkley, who scored a game-high 32 points.
Despite an early Jordan lead and Northern still playing without injured guard Tahj Small, the Knights scored five unanswered points in the last 30 seconds to tie the game. A 3-pointer from just off the key by Northern’s Emmett Tilley tied the score at 63-63 with 14 seconds left.
Jordan worked the ball into the front court before Thompson penetrated down the right side of the lane and laid in a one-handed shot that bounced tantalizingly on the rim before dropping through.
Fans mobbed Thompson on the court, almost as much in relief after the tense, back-and-forth battle as in celebration.
“I loved it. I’m speechless,” Thompson said. But he managed to add, “That’s the first time I’ve been mobbed on the court. It felt like a state championship.”
There’s plenty of basketball left to play before anything like that, Jordan coach Kim Annas noted.
“The goal for each team is to win each conference game, one at a time,” Annas said. “Just do that, and the championship will take care of itself.”