A state-championship showdown between two of the top high school basketball recruits in Missouri lived up to its billing. And then some.
Barstow may have fallen short in its bid to win a second straight Missouri Class 3 boys title in March, but its 62-60 loss to Father Tolton Catholic produced an immediate classic.
Barstow senior Jeriah Horne, a Nebraska signee, and Tolton junior Michael Porter, the No. 2-ranked recruit in the nation, turned the afternoon into a game of one-on-one. Horne finished with 39 points and 14 rebounds. Porter answered with 31 points and 19 rebounds.
Yet those performances took a back seat to the finish of the game. Barstow senior Shea Rush, who will walk on at North Carolina, was fouled with 2 seconds left and stood at the free-throw line with a chance to tie the game. After missing the first attempt, he intentionally missed the second, then grabbed the rebound and released one final shot. It bounced off the rim.
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“This is by far the biggest game I’ve ever played in,” Porter said after the game. “Both teams played their hearts out. We were just able to hang on.”