Mustangs Stun The Fieldhouse
Crowd watches Seiter's shot hang before ending
Mason County's season and sending the Brossart Mustangs to Rupp
By Elden May - Staff Writer

Good things come to those who wait.

For fans and layers alike at The Fieldhouse Saturday night, the final three seconds seemed like an eternity.   For each school,
years of hardship and emotion were packed into each precious tick.

For Bishop Brossart, a victory would mean redemption for a 1998 finals loss and the first region championship in school
history.  For Mason County, it would signal the return of the dynasty, the school's eighth 10th Region title and first Sweet
Sixteen appearance since 1994.

In the end, however, the difference in the game was simple - one team had Justin Seiter and the other did not.

Seiter added to the long and storied list of fantastic Fieldhouse finishes when his underhand flip shot danced on the rim before
droopping through the net as tme expired, giving Bishop Brossart its first 10th Region Championship, 52-50.

After Mason County's Jamal Chambers' putback of a missed shot knotted the score at 50, Brossart called a timeout to set up
one final play for it senior superstar.

"The only guy we were going to get it to in that situation was Justin," Brossart coach Willie Schlarman said.  "We ran through
the play and tried to get the ball in his hands with about 10 seconds left.  If he makes it, it's over; if he misses, it goes to
overtime.  I just told him not to run over anybody because sometimes he's kinda like a bull in a china shop."

As planned, the ball found its way into Seiter's hands with nine seconds remaining, where he met the Royal's Harry Lewis
face-to-face.  Seiter took two dribbles to his right, then used a crossover to his left to free himself and threw up a driving
off-balanced underhand-push shot in the lane with 3.1 seconds remaining.  The ball teetered on the rim, then rolled around
twice before falling through with the winning points.

"That was the longest second or two of my life," Seiter said.  "I didn't know if the ball was going to go in or not."

Mason County coach Kelly Wells assumed the worst when he saw the shot go up, and unfortunatesly for his team, he was
right.

"It touched every inch of the rim.  When you see it stick on the rim, your gut feeling is that it will go in," he said.
It was an underhanded scoop shot from a guy having a hot night."

The fact that Seiter took the final shot was no surprise; in fact, he put
his team on his shoulders the entire evening, finishing with a game-high
28 points, five rebounds and three assists.

"He's the greatest athlete I've ever coached," Schlarman said.  "If
anybody watched him down here for three nights, you'd have to say
he's a pretty darned good athlete."

Seiter finished with 60 points in the three games, tops among all players.

Early on, Brossart's battle got even tougher when it lost starter Chris Ryan at the 1:59 mark of the opening quarter with a
sprained  ankle.  Mason County took advantage of the Ryan's absence inside all night and outrebounded the smaller Mustangs
35-18

In Ryan's absence Brossart went with a smaller, quicker lineup and employed a pressing defense.  The move ultimately paid off
when the Mustangs forced 18 Mason County turnovers, compared to only five of their own.

"When we have the little guys
(Lloyd and Ziegler) in there, we call them 'the junkyard dogs,'" Schlarman said.  "They can
terrorize you.  They really got after it and they were flying here and there.  It's not picture perfect defense because they take a
lot of chances, but at that point, that's what we needed to do."

Mason County used six first-quarter points from Jamal Chambers to break out to a 13-10 lead.  Chambers provided the muscle
for the Royals the entire evening, finishing with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

He's a kid that other kids in the area should take notice of," Wells said.  "As a freshman, that kid probably wouldn't have been
thought of to make a basketball team.  Now, he's one of our more valuable players here in the final game.  He showed big post
play and we tried to give the ball to him more, but their pressure kind of took us away from that."

Seiter gave the fans a first glimpse of his buzzer-beating heroics in the first quarter when he rebounded a Scott Ruth miss and
put it in at the horn to cut the Royals' led to 13-12.

Mason County extended its lead to 25-20 with Lewis' jumper with 2:57 left in the half, but again, Seiter took comand, scoring
on back-to back three point plays to pull his team within one in the final seconds.  In all, Seiter scored 17 of his team's 30 first
half points.  Still, the Mustangs trailed by one at the break, due in part to Mason County's 12 of 20 (60 percent) shooting from
the field.

The Royals began the second half on a 5-0 run to open their largest lead of the game at 36-30.  Then, just when it looked like
Mason County would pull away, the momentum and the game seemed to turn on a single play.

Sophomore guard Tee Commodore stepped in front of Nick Ziegler's pass and found a wide-open Chambers streaking to the
other end of the floor.  Chambers was unable to handle the pass, however, and the ball rolled harmlessly out of bounds.

Given new life, Brossart responded by outscoring the Royals 13-4 the rest of the quarter to take a 43-40 lead.

The deficit ballooned to seven before Chambers' foul shot pulled his team within 47-41 at the 4:15 mark.  In fact, Brossart held
the Royals without a basket for 5:41 in the third and fourth quarters.

"We let their pressure bother us," Wells said.  We made some very careless passes and poor decisions.  We let it get us out of
our game plan."

Mason County had one final run left, however.  Chambers' three-point play cut the deficit to 49-46 with 1:47 remaining.  After
Ziegler hit one of two free throws to put his team up four, the Mustangs turned the ball over on their next possession and
Commodore's driving layup made it 50-48.  Dave Enzweiler then missed the front end of a bonus, allowing the Royals to come
all the way back when Chambers grabbed Lewis' missed shot and put it in with 22 seconds remaining.

" We were one crazy shot and an overtime from where we wanted to be," Wells said.  "Great players make great plays, and I
thought Seiter made a great play at the end.  Our kids gave a valiant effort, we just came up a little bit short."

Seiter led all scorers, while Ruth was the only other Mustang in double figures with l l.  Chambers poured in 18 points for
Mason County while Lewis added 14.

Brossart will play 1st Region champion Graves County, a 52-40 winner over Marshall County, at 1pm at Rupp Arena on
Thursday.  With the victory, the Mustangs became the first 38th District team to win the 10th Region since Pendleton County
did it in 1971.

"We're just thrilled to death.  Our boys played their hearts out," Schlarman said.  "Our hats go off to Mason County because
they played their hearts out, too.  It's a shame that this time of year, somebody has to go home because they deserved to win
as much as we did.  If there had been another 10 seconds, they would have come down and scored.  It was that kind of game.

                      Bishop Brossart      12   18   13   9     - 52
                      Mason County        13   18   9   10    - 50

Brossart:  Seiter 11-3-28, Ruth 5-1-11, Clark 3-3-9, Ziegler 1-1-4,
              Enzweiler 0-0-0, Lloyd 0-0-0                                  Totals:   20- 8- 52

Mason Co:  Chambers 8-2-18, Lewis 7-0-14, Sherman 2-0-6, Faulkner 1-02-5,
                 Gilbert 1-1-3, Commodore 1-0-2,  Myrick 0-2-2      Totals:  20-7-50

3 Pointers:  BB  Seiter 3, Ziegler     MCo  Sherman 2, Faulkner  

Records:  Bishop Brossart 19-12,  Mason County 17-14      
After gaining some late season momentum by winning the 38th District Tournament, the Brossart Mustangs
defeated pre-season Number One pick Harrison County by twenty points and then edged a very good St. Patrick
team 61-60. The Mustangs faced the task of beating the high flying Royals on their own floor.  The Royals had upset
heavy tournament favorite Clark County who were then ranked fifteenth in the state and Campbell County in the
semis to set up the Brossart/Mason County 10th Region Finals on Saturday, March 11th, for the trip to Rupp.
The Account of the game below is reprinted from the Maysville Ledger-Indepentent article
which appeared on Monday, March 13, 2000
My personal recollections of that night include watching the Mustangs battle from behind and then build a seven point lead late
in the game only to see it evaporate and having flashbacks of Mustangs opportunities past which had ended in defeat and
devestation.  None would have had the impact or the implications that a loss of this game would carry if we let it get away.
As Justin Seiter drove to the hole for that final shot Joey Seiter and I stood actually clutching each other on the opposite end at
floor level in front of the stage.  When the ball made its inital hops around the rim, thirty years of experience told me that it
was in - and in it was.  I vividly remember the three officals sprinting right at us in an attempt to get off of the floor just in
front of the mass of humanity pouring from the Mustangs cheering section.  The feeling of exhileration of that moment cannot
be described.  I sought out Coach Schlarman, and he, I, Coach Rowe, Coach Klopp, "Big Bill Schlarman," and Jamie
Schoulties entangled in a huge group embrace screaming repeatedly, "We Won It."
Moments later the Fieldhouse PA played "We Are The Champions" as Justin Seiter was hoisted upon the shoulders of his
teammates and the celebration was on.  A rowdy reception was held back at school that night and preparations began for our
trip into the uncharted waters of the State Tournament at Rupp Arena.   DS        
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