It may have never been a fair fight.
There were great moments this school year in sports, some which will resonate for years. After all, there’s only so many state champions from Warren County or pitchers who can say they threw a no-hitter for the Pioneers.
And yet, big moment after big moment fell by the wayside to CJ Taylor’s buzzer beater to win the District 6AAA tournament title in the Standard’s top WCHS sports moments bracket. In any other year, no-hitters, state titles or huge homecoming football wins would have been the best thing in sports. This year, they just happened to fall behind one of the biggest moments in the history of the school.
Getting caught up in the moment can skew things – make them seem bigger than they really were. Taylor’s buzzer beater doesn’t feel like that kind of thing though. It will likely always be remembered, especially by the hundreds of Pioneer fans who were there live to see it happen.
I know I will.
I can still remember those final seconds. Sitting on the baseline, I was doing my best to capture photos, send out tweets and get videos of big moments. Sadly, the last video I had from the game was the one I thought was going to be the saddest – Sparta miraculously turning a loose ball bouncing around in the paint into a potential three-point play for the win.
As I was typing out the details, I was shaking my head in disbelief. There was no way to accurately describe how Warren County was going to lose in such a heartbreaking fashion.
Before I could finish typing, a go-ahead free throw rimmed out and Taylor snatched the ball. He wasn’t going to give it up.
Perfectly aligned behind the basket from where CJ took his shot, I knew it was going in. I was yelling, “buckets” just as it swished through.
It was pure pandemonium for the next few minutes. Pioneer fans went crazy. The team went nuts. Taylor took a victory lap around the court, losing his jersey in the mix.
I’d put the game-winning shot up against any sports moment of the last 20 years. Buzzer beaters are inherently some of the most exciting plays in sports. Add in the stakes – playing to win the program’s first title in 43 years – and the location – the house of horrors White County’s gym has been for the Pioneers – and it becomes legendary.
Obviously, local voters agreed. The shot never earned less than 65 percent of the votes in any of its matchups.
Maybe the next interactive contest we can run is asking for submissions for a better historical sports moment. It would be a short list.