Late Tip Foils St. Bernard
Chrismen Oliver led Playa del Rey St. Bernard to the brink of its first boys’ state basketball championship Friday.
The 5-foot-9 point guard played a near-flawless game against Mill Valley Tamalpais and directed a comeback that gave the undersized, ultra-quick Vikings a one-point lead with 10 seconds left in the Division IV final at Arco Arena.
But Oliver, and just about every player from both teams, appeared stunned a full 15 minutes after Tamalpais center Jair Veldhuis tipped in a missed shot at the buzzer to give Tamalpais a 61-60 victory in one of the most dramatic finishes in state-final history.
“They seemed like they were rushing [on the last possession],” said Oliver, who scored 19 points. “We got on their shooter and they just got the tip. I still can’t believe it.”
Jeremy White took the off-balance 15-foot jumper from the baseline that the 6-10 Veldhuis put back for the game-winner from high above the rim.
Veldhuis’ basket provided Tamalapais (33-2) its only points of the final 3 minutes 15 seconds.
Brandon Williams scored a game-high 25 points for St. Bernard (26-8).