South Dakota

The Greatest Game in Selby Lion Basketball History

With two minutes and 19 seconds left, Selby Lions shoot five 3 pointers and 4 free throws to win 54-50.

The following account of the 1988 Region 8 Boys Basketball title was provided to us by the Selby Record as part of our ongoing call for your greatest high school sports memories. Read more about how to submit your own stories here.

Selby Lions captured the Region 8 Boys Basketball title on March 14, 1988 when they put together an amazing comeback in the final two and a half minutes of play. Lions connected on six of six three pointers in those closing minutes to defeat the arch rival Bowdle Bobcats 54-50.

Describing his team's come-from-behind victory Lions Coach Doug Groth said, "You just saw the biggest miracle in history." He also commented "this is a team that just doesn't lie down".

Selby led by four for much of the first quarter, but the Bobcats tied the game at six and then went up by two late in the quarter. A last second bucket by Bowdle gave them a three point 21-9 lead.

Lions fell behind by seven early in the second quarter and that remained the margin at the half. Both teams had trouble scoring in the second quarter, but excellent offensive rebounding by the Bobcats enabled them to outscore the Lions 10-6. Bowdle was ahead 22-15 at the half.

Selby's third quarter was not much more productive than their second period. They let Bowdle rattle off six unanswered points and were trailing by 11, 28-17, at the four-minute period. Lions managed to play even with the Bobcats in the final four minutes of the quarter but still found themselves down by 12, 35-23. A brief rally by the Lions pulled them to within eight early in the fourth quarter until they faltered. Lions spent most of the final quarter down by 11 to 13 points.

With two minutes and 19 seconds remaining, Corey Fiedler sank a three pointer from well behind the three point line. It sparked what has to be one of the most incredible rallies in high school basketball history.

With 1:35 to go, a three pointer by Pat Thorstenson drew the Lions to within eight. Following a bucket by the Bobcats, a three pointer by Chad Wolff brought Selby within seven.

With a minute to go, Thorstenson's second three pointer made it 44-48. Bowdle then connected on a couple of free throws keeping ahead 44-50, but Thorstenson brought the Lions to within three when he sank his third three pointer.

With only 40 seconds to go, Wolff's second three pointer tied the game at 50.

There were 28 seconds left to tick on the clock when Bowdle fouled and sent Billy Jo Bradford to the line. Despite limited first string appearance and incredible pressure, Bradford connected both free shots and gave Selby its first lead since the opening quarter.

Fiedler made two more vital free throws at the 13-second mark to give Selby a four-point lead and sew up their regional championship.

High scorer for the game was Thorstenson with 15 points, nine of which were three pointers. Wolff added 14 with two three pointers, Fiedler made 12 with one three pointer, Tim Schreter seven, Clay Cheskey four and Billy Jo Bradford two.

Share your own great high school sports moments here.

Author: EVM STAFF on 01/11 2009
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Posted by: Anonymous on June 19 2017
I was able to witness the spirit of never quit. I talk more about this game then any other game I have played or watched. Almost unbelievable, Bowdle did not lose the game - the incredible happened! Troy R.
Posted by: Anonymous on March 24 2013
Bowdle players were disappointed in Selby finishing in 6th place at the state tourney that year. That Bowdle team would have won the state tournament that year had they won that region game.
Posted by: Anonymous on January 11 2009
Sounds like an awesome game. I wish i'd seen it.

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