ESTHERVILLE?- It was the thing that every little kid on a playground dreams of - the last second shot that decides the big game.
For Emmetsburg senior Erik Drost, his moment came with :01.1 on the clock Tuesday night in a Class 1A District Tournament game against Okoboji.
With the score tied at 63-63 and the E-Hawks in possession of the ball, the clock ticked down to :04 and Emmetsburg's Austin Krause launched a three-point shot, only to see it bang off the front of the rim.
THE?SHOT - E-Hawk Erik Drost follows his last-second put-back shot head to the bucket for the game-winning score in Monday night’s 65-63 win over Okoboji’s Pioneers as teammate Max Dunlap (14) watches the shot. -- Dan Viogt photo
That's where the dream came true.
Drost, surrounded by four Okoboji defenders, grabbed the rebound and put the orb back up as it kissed off the glass and fell through the hoop as the horn sounded and the Emmetsburg players and fans erupted into celebration as the Okoboji players stood stunned on the court.
But let's start at the beginning.
There was a little history coming into Monday's Class 2A District Tournament opener, as the Pioneers of Okoboji had picked up their first win of the season back on Jan. 23 in a 53-41 decision over the E-Hawks in Milford.
Going into Monday's game, the E-Hawks knew if they wanted to make any kind of run in the post season, a win over Okoboji was crucial.
The E-Hawks would start things out quickly on Monday night, jumping out to a 9-0 lead before Okoboji got on the scoreboard, but once the Pioneers tied up the score off a trio of three-point shots, Okoboji would end the first quarter with a 15-13 lead over the E-Hawks.
In the second frame, however, Emmetsburg got some nice defensive stops and on the other end of the court, got some good outside shooting to retake the lead and outscore Okoboji by a 20-7 margin in the quarter to post a 33-22 lead at the intermission.
But there was a lot of basketball to be played.
The Pioneers would come out with purpose in the third quarter and started knocking down some three point shots once again, outscoring Emmetsburg by nine points, 26-15, and knot the score up at 48-48 to start the final quarter of regulation play.
The two teams traded buckets to start the final quarter, but the Pioneers would take the lead :30 into the quarter off a three-ball for a 53-50 advantage and the battle was joined.
Emmetsburg would answer the Okoboji shots, but trailed by three points until senior Austin Krause calmly knocked down a three-pointer with 4:32 to go to re-tie the contest at 55-55 as the defensive battle intensified.
With 3:00 to go, the E-Hawks trailed by a digit, 57-58, but a bucket by Mike Myers put Emmetsburg back on top at 59-58 with 2:00 to play. A pair of free throws for the Pioneers gave them the 60-59 advantage just :04 later, but on the next possession, Erik Drost was fouled as he went to the basket and drained both free throws for a 61-60 lead with 1:38 to play.
Okoboji's resulting possession came up empty, but Myers was fouled in the process and went back to the charity stripe, where he sank both shots for a 63-60 lead with 1:19.
The E-Hawks hustled back on defense, but with :54 to go in the game, a three-pointer tied the game up at 63-63.
Emmetsburg got the rebound and worked back down court, taking time off the clock until taking their final timeout with :27 ticks to go.
The ball was inbounded after the timeout and the E-Hawks worked the offense, looking for the good shot as the clock ticked down and down before Krause launched his shot with :04 to go. The rest is history.
It was a banner night for Drost, as the senior garnered the double-double with his 22 point offensive effort and 12 rebounds, with two blocked shots.
Austin Krause would add 15 points on the night and dished out three assists, while Thomas Schultes came off the bench to add nine points , two assists and a steal to the effort.
Mike Myers chipped in eight points, while handing out three assists and blocking one shot and Max Dunlap came in to tally seven points in the winning effort with an assist.
Michael Pugh would close out the scoring in the win with four points for the E-Hawks, as they improved to 8-14 on the year with the win.
The E-Hawks travel to Hull to meet Western Christian of Hull tonight (Thursday) for an 8 p.m. District Quarterfinal matchup.