There was a buzz throughout Coffeyville's campus all day long. The Red Ravens had their first annual All-Athlete Hall of Fame induction ceremony. 2017 NJCAA Basketball inductee, and former Red Raven, Craig Tucker was in attendance. The 2001-2002 National Runner Up team was in attendance (coached by Jay Herkelman). It was a night that had all the makings of being spectacular.
However, the game did not start out that way. Starting out, the Red Ravens were flat. They were not taking care of the ball and seemed to be putting a lot of pressure on themselves to be perfect. The Hutchinson Blue Dragons, coming in #12 NJCAA and second in conference, are a good team and beat the Red Ravens earlier in the year in Hutchinson.
A quick momentum change came as freshman Marvin Johnson and Casey Benton forced a turnover at half court which lead to the Red Ravens playing Herkelman basketball. The two freshmen, coupled by sophomore point guard Travis Washington, lead the comeback for the Red Ravens as they tied the game up at 32 at half time.
Finding himself in the starting lineup after the flu put Herkelman's big man, Cedric Roland, on the sideline, freshman Keon Queen stepped up. In the second half, the Red Ravens were able to find themselves on the positive side of defensive swings as Queen helped defensive standout, Joshua Hill, pull down rebounds. On the night, Queen grabbed 9 total rebounds, with 5 coming from the defensive side.
Washington also returned to his big game form as he showed the Blue Dragons why he has earned the defensive pressure opposing coaches place on him. Throughout the game Washington would drive to the basket and have a quick kick out to Benton in the corner for a three point basket (2/5 on the night) or be able to spin around a defender for a slick assist to Johnson or Anthony Jones.
Keeping up with his outstanding second half, Jones posted a team high 17 points off of 4/17 shooting and going 9/9 on free throws. Jones also helped Queen and Hill on the rebound side as he pulled down 7 total rebounds; 5 on the defensive side.
Once again proving to be one of the conferences best defenders, Hill pulled down 13 on the night while also netting 6 points while going 4/8 from the free throw line.
In the final minute of the game, a Blue Dragon offensive player drove to the basket for what looked like an easy bank shot. With a superman type leap, Queen sent the shot into the fourth row of the bleachers with a thunderous block. The crowd erupted! Fans were screaming. Other Red Raven athletes were running around the bleachers. The roof was shaking the dust off the beams. Momentum clearly sided on the Red Ravens team.
With the score tied at 70, Herkelman calls a timeout. The ball on the Red Ravens side of the court, and right in front of the 01-02 team, Anthony Jones in-bounded the ball to Washington. With 3 seconds left, Washington drove on the Blue Dragon defender and shot up a floater right above the free throw line.
- In the 01-02 National Championship game, the men's team lost to Dixie State (Utah) 82-81. Then guard standout Steve Smith missed a buzzer beater as it bounced on the rim two times and bounced out.
As Washington's shot went up the ball bounced on the front of the rim. Then the backboard. Then the ball falls through the net for a buzzer beating victory!
The bleachers emptied as students and players rushed the court to mob their team.
In true Jay Herkelman form, he calmly walked over to the other coach and shook each of the coaches and players hands after the game. Not too high, not too low. As if he had seen this before from a Red Raven standout guard.