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North Ogden • Syracuse guard Michael Phelps watched as teammate Diante Mitchell drove to the hole, one made shot away from taking the lead with under 10 seconds to play against Weber.
Mitchell missed, and after a frenetic scuffle for the rebound, Phelps caught the ball at the top of the key and, in one smooth motion, released the ball, his hand lingering in the air. The ball went in. Mitchell and Phelps scrambled to play defense. The Titan cheering section erupted into pandemonium.
Phelps' game-winner with four seconds left lifted the Titans to a frenzied 49-48 win over Weber on Friday night, giving Syracuse a much-needed win as it tries to keep pace in Region 1.
"That's probably the biggest shot of my high school career," said Phelps, who had 14 points. "When I got the rebound and went up, I tried to get contact and get the foul. When I didn't, I was just happy it went in."
After inbounding across half-court and calling a timeout after Phelps' shot, the Warriors got one more chance to win it. Star Weber guard Hayden Schenck caught the ensuing inbound and heaved a desperation 3, well away from the arc and with two defenders in his face, but the would-be miracle clanked off the backboard as time expired.
A few possessions earlier, Schenck had hit a fadeaway jumper from the baseline to give the Warriors a 48-47 advantage, setting the stage for Phelps' heroics.
Schenck, one of the leading scorers in the state, dazzled in the loss, scoring a game-high 30 points on a dizzying dose of drives to the basket, 3s and free throws.
"The whole week we were trying to figure out ways to double-team him and try to stop [Schenck] from driving," Phelps said. "I felt, even though he had a lot of points, I felt we did a good job of keeping him from penetrating."
After dropping their first two region games, the Titans knew beating the Warriors would be crucial to avoid falling too many games behind in the top-heavy Region 1.
"This is a huge win," said Mitchell, who had a team-high 16 points. "We needed this game to get some momentum. We feel like when people see this, they'll see Syracuse is for real."