Ben Gardner tried to settle his mind as he stood at the free-throw line with 14.1 seconds remaining Monday night.
Gardner’s St. Paul’s Crusaders had a one-point lead over the Vincent Massey Trojans with a season hanging in balance during the varsity boys final at the Milk AAAA Provincial High School Basketball Championships.
What was he thinking?
"Don’t miss like I usually do, I guess," said Gardner, a career 60 to 70 per cent free-throw shooter who calmly proceeded to make both shots to give the Crusaders a 72-69 lead. "I wasn’t really thinking about it, to be honest. Same as always: just breathe a deep breath, and two dribbles."
Now trailing by three, Vincent Massey’s Jade Elias launched and missed a desperate three-pointer with two seconds left and the Crusaders regained possession, capturing their first provincial basketball crown since 2014 and the second in school history.
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