Sinking a once-in-a-lifetime shot

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Remember when Kloe Yutzy had the winning, one-handed, full court shot that was featured on ESPN's Top 10 Plays? So do we, and we're STILL CELEBRATING! 🎉Join us in the celebration by commenting 👇 with some encouragement for our Buzzer Beating Shekinah Varsity Girls' Basketball Team on their big win! 🏀

Posted by Shekinah Christian School on Friday, December 14, 2018

(Posted Dec. 20, 2018)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Shekinah plays most of the fourth quarter with six players after one of the seven on the team fouls out. Tree of Life hits a bucket to go up by two. Ernie Yutzy, Shekinah’s head coach, calls a time out.

With 3.4 seconds on the clock, he draws up a play: his daughter, Kloe, a senior point guard, gets the ball on the move and shoots from half-court or Shekinah’s free throw line. Victory is possible; Kloe has sunk half-court buzzer-beaters before.

The players return to the court and Shekinah sets up the play. But then a Tree of Life defender tips the inbound pass, sending the ball backwards.

“When I saw that, in my mind I thought, ‘It’s pretty well over,’ ” Yutzy said.

But it’s not over. Kloe scrambles after the ball, turns, and, from the left corner…

“I chucked it,” said Kloe.

The one-handed heave sails the full length of the court, then “shoop,” goes into the basket as the buzzer ends the game.

“When I threw it, I thought, ‘It’s not going to make it,’ but then I was watching it,” said Kloe (time slows down in moments like these), “and I thought, ‘Wow, it’s going to be closer than I expected. Then it went in.”

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Kloe Yutzy and her dad and coach, Ernie Yutzy, are still all smiles days after Kloe’s one-handed, full-court buzzer beater gave the Shekinah Flames varsity girls’ basketball team a victory they’ll never forget. A video of the shot made ESPN’s “Sports Center Top 10.”

For a split-second, no one reacts and Kloe wonders if the bucket counts, but it’s good and Shekinah wins the game, 42-41. Kloe runs, body slams her best friend and teammate, and keeps on running while the rest of the team and her coach/dad jump up and down.

“It wasn’t just that she made it. It’s that we won because she made it,” Yutzy said.

“We were all, like, what in the world just happened? It was definitely surreal,” Kloe said.

It’s a series of moments neither Kloe, who has been playing basketball for 14 years, or her dad, who has coached the sport at Shekinah for seven years, expects to ever recreate.

“I call this a once in a lifetime moment. I am happy to have been a part of it. I’m glad the team got to be a part of it. And I’m glad Kloe got to experience it,” Yutzy said.

While they might never recreate what happened on Dec. 13, 2018, in the Tree of Life gymnasium, they can certainly relive it and enjoy the fact that it garnered national recognition.

A Tree of Life fan captured the whole thing on video. Shekinah’s scorebook keeper, Josh Ellis, passed the video along to Nathan Perkey of 270 Hoops, who runs a website and Twitter feed dedicated to central Ohio high school basketball. Perkey sent it to his connections at ESPN. A few hours after the game ended, at 1 in the morning on Dec. 14, the 14-second clip aired in the 10th spot on ESPN’s “Sports Center Top 10” plays of the day.

Ellis, Kloe’s boyfriend, also posted the clip to relationships.usa on Instagram where, as of Dec. 19, it had more than 920,000 views.

To watch the video, click on “madison” at www.columbusmessenger.com and look for the story on Kloe. Or visit the Shekinah Christian School Facebook page.

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