Caledonia and PEM’s Boys Basketball Coaches Reflect on Section 1AA 3OT Thriller

(ABC 6 News) — Even before the dust settled at the Mayo Civic Center, everyone attending on Thursday knew they just witnessed a playoff classic.

With top-seeded Caledonia seemingly on the ropes, the Warriors’ Eli King drew key fouls to tie the game against number two Plainview-Elgin-Millville. It took three intense overtimes for Caledonia to claim victory and head to State as Section 1AA champions.

After the game, both Caledonia head coach Brad King and PEM head coach Jason Herber reflected on what both agreed was one of the best playoff matches to happen in recent state history.

"I think this group of guys will not quit," Coach King affirmed. "I mean — I think I told them in the middle of the season when we were down 20 at halftime to Totino-Grace and we came back and won that basketball game. Probably had no right of winning it, but our guys never quit. I never walk in the locker room worried that we’re going to mail it in. Whether there’s — I tell them as long as that horn hasn’t sounded, we have a chance. They surely proved me right on that."

"I just think two of the teams in the state went at it for three overtimes," Herber stated. "One of the best games — and I’m a big basketball fan, that’s got to be one of the best section games I’ve ever seen, been a part of. Not only seen, but it was a joy to be part of and unfortunately right now, a lot of pain. We look back at plays here and there, but bottom line is that I couldn’t be more proud of my kids. I don’t think a lot of people besides that locker room gave us a chance and we had it. We had it, we were one little play away from shocking the world. But, we wouldn’t have been shocked."

Caledonia now waits for its official seeding in next Tuesday’s Class AA State Tournament.