Down three, under two minutes to play, Bradley Jumper gets the ball in far right corner without a defender within 10 feet of him.
Before the shot is even released, a collective groan could be heard from the Carl Junction fans Thursday night.
Jumper’s fifth 3-pointer of the game tied the score at 51, then with a minute remaining, Seth Harris drilled another that proved to be the game-winner as Seneca erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to earn a 56-51 victory in the second game of the Mercy Sports Medicine CJ Classic.
Blue Springs, the Indians opponent tonight at 7 p.m., earned a 70-55 decision over Carthage in the tournament opener.
“I think I was more surprised that I was that wide open considering the game I had had up to that point,” said Jumper, a 5-foot-9 junior guard who finished with a season-best five 3-pointers as part of his 19 points.
“We had a defensive letdown in the third quarter and they started hitting from outside. I don’t think there was time in the fourth quarter where we panicked, we just had to play better defense.”
Said Seneca head coach Will King, “We just had to make a few stops on defense.
“I told them between quarters (between the third and fourth where Seneca trailed by eight, 42-34) I told them there was not an eight-point shot, that they had to focus on making stops first, then converting on offense.”
Carl Junction (6-6) actually led by double-figures, 10, with 7:09 remaining on two free throws by Gaige Crockett.
Jumper, Elias Roelfsema and Harris then went to work cutting away at the deficit.
Jumper hit his fourth 3-pointer, Harris and Kyler Ng added back-to-back layups and Roelfsema converted a three-point play with 3:35 left for a 46-44 deficit.
Roelfsema’s free throws with 2:47 left tied the game at 48. The Bulldogs scored the next three on a driving layup by Matt Magee and Magee free throw.
Shooting as calm as if it were a free throw, Jumper’s big shot knotted the game 51 and Harris followed suit less than minute later.
“One trip, he might turn it over, the next trip, he will hit a 3-pointer; nothing bothers him and I love that in a player,” said King of Jumper and his hot shooting hand. “Nothing fazes him, he’s fearless. Last week, he had a game where he shot an airball on a layup, then the next trip, he drilled a 3. The next game, he airballed a 3, next trip, he hits a 3. He’s an all-state performer in golf and as athletes know, you’re only as good as your next shot.”
Page 2 of 2 - Ng, a 6-foot senior, added 12 points and had two 3-pointers in the third quarter. Roelfsema and Harris finished with eight each.
Dustin Satterlee, the Bulldogs 6-foot-1 junior guard, scored 13 of his 15 points during Carl Junction’s blistering third quarter. He drilled a trio of 3-pointers and Magee added trey during the Bulldog rally.
Magee, a 6-foot junior, finished with 15 and Crockett, a 6-3 junior, added 12 for Carl Junction.