Jimmy Layton scored at the buzzer to give the Madison boys basketball team a 47-45 win over Paris at the Madison Tournament.
Madison junior forward Jimmy Layton grabbed a pass just above the key with 10 seconds left with Wednesday night’s game tied at 45 against cross-county rival Paris.
Overtime seemed a certainty.
Then, as he moved the ball to his left, with Paris defenders blocking his path, Layton abruptly stopped, twisted to his left, squared up and let loose a jumper from about 15 feet. Rather than throw a desperation shot, Layton was in textbook position for the shot. The shot arced perfectly.
Swish. All net. The Panthers won 47-45 at the buzzer.
The Madison crowd was on its collective feet, wildly celebrating, while the Paris fans were stunned, trying to absorb what just happened.
“I have had a few big buckets in my career, but I tell you what, that was huge,” an elated Layton said. “We were playing for that last shot, and it came open, and I shot. What a feeling.”
Madison coach Jacob Youse was raspy-voiced and visibly drained at the end of the game, and almost in disbelief at the result.
“That was just awesome,” Youse said. “Down by 10 at the end of the first half, then we came back. And Jimmy’s shot … we were playing for the last shot, and Jimmy nailed it. Just an awesome game.”
Layton, with 11 points, and Dakota Lafferty, with 22, paced the Panthers, keeping them in the game when they were behind in the first half, and then pacing the comeback in a workman-like victory.
“Dakota could have probably hit on 50 points if he made some of the layups that would not go in,” Youse said.
Meanwhile, a subdued Paris coach Wade Billington reflected on what might have been.
“We played a pretty good first half and did not play as good in the second half,” Billington said, adding his team had open shots in the third quarter, “but we started forcing things, took some forced shots and some bad shots, and we just had a lot of turnovers.”
Madison got off to a quick start, taking an 8-2 lead midway through the first quarter. But Paris went on a roll, ending the first quarter with an 11-all tie. Then, two minutes into the second quarter, Paris took a 14-13 lead, and would not trail again until the last shot of the game.
Thanks to some torrid 3-point shooting by sophomore Konnor Heitmeyer, Paris went on a 16-7 run in the second quarter, taking a 30-20 lead at halftime. Heitmeyer drained four 3-point shots on the night, while teammates Chris Ebbesmeyer and Laken Edwards each posted a pair of 3-pointers.
However, Madison came out with hot hand during the third quarter while Paris shooting went cold.
Madison outscored the Coyotes 19-13 in the quarter, trailing 43-39 going into the final period. Edwards provided Paris fans with some thrills when he sank a 3-point shot at the third-quarter buzzer to push Paris ahead by four points.
In the loss, Paris sophomore Blake Turner played for the first time in eight games following an injury. He did not enter until near the end of the game because of limits on his playing time as he recovers. Turner took control of the low post, raising his arms furiously to get the ball, yelling that that he wanted the ball.
“Give me the ball, give me the ball,” he yelled. He received a pass and scored a layup with authority. Those were the only points that Paris scored in the fourth quarter.
Turner’s return to the lineup bodes well for Paris, Billington said.
“I wanted to that play to get him the ball and help him gain some confidence,” Billington said. “He is going to be a nice addition.”