Oh boy. Someone please get this kid to a counselor, stat.
Ending your season on a losing note can be crushing for any high school athlete — watch the incredible (and Oscar-winning) documentary Undefeated if you don’t believe it can be life-changing — but rarely is a loss as soul-destroying as the one by the boy’s basketball team at Hugo High School in Oklahoma.
For guard Trey Johnson, it’s a loss that he may never get over.
Johnson scored the game’s winning points as the buzzer sounded and time expired, but he did it on the wrong net. As Anthony Slater of NewsOK describes it, Johnson “bolted away from his defender, securing the ball with enough space to securely run out the final 2.9 seconds.”
His team was leading by a point over perennial state power Millwood High School in last night’s Class 3A state quarterfinals.
Then, inexplicably, in a moment of confusion, Johnson scored on a layup to his own basket just prior to time running out.
The two points gave Millwood the win, by a single point.
Incredibly, the moment was captured on film by photographer Bryan Terry of The Oklahoman (and you can see it above). It’s a once-in-a-lifetime shot — because it was a once-in-several-lifetimes moment.
“When I saw the kid going that way, I was like, ‘No, he’s not. No, he’s not … Oh, yes he is,’” Millwood assistant coach David Samilton said after the game.
The Hugo players were reportedly inconsolable after the loss, with Johnson taking it hardest of all.
He reportedly played a great game prior to his costly, last-second lapse in sanity.
“He gives you 100 percent all the time,” Hugo coach Darnell Shanklin said. “Heart goes out to the kid because he feels bad. He feels really, really bad.”
Hugo finishes the season 21-7 and Millwood goes on to the semi-finals today.
And, if there’s any good in the world, the healing will quickly begin for a poor kid who just made the mistake of a lifetime.