TAMPA — With 1:58 remaining in the third quarter, Seminole called timeout to bring a temporary halt to the 7-2 run Chamberlain put together in less than a minute. The score was 44-29, and the game appeared to be headed toward a lopsided finish.
Then junior guard Justin Hollis hit a 3-pointer with less than a minute left. As the buzzer sounded, he swished one more. And that started a 28-8 Seminole run that would last the rest of the game, as the Warhawks stunned Chamberlain 57-52 Thursday in the Class 7A region quarterfinals to win the first state playoff game in program history.
“I knew I had a confident stroke, I’ve been working real hard,” said Hollis, who has battled ankle injuries throughout the season. “You’ve just got to trust it, and I trusted it, and they went in for me.”
Hollis led Seminole (18-9) with 21 points. Chamberlain junior Reggie Hart had 21 points for the Chiefs (17-8), but only five came in the second half.
The Warhawks retook the lead for the first time since the 9-8 mark with 2:03 remaining on a three-point play by Noah Weller. The junior drew a foul after catching an inbounds pass and converting the lay-in. He made his free throw, and Seminole did not relinquish the lead.
Chamberlain went 0-of-3 from the field and 1-of-3 from the free-throw line in the final two minutes.
“We just told them to keep fighting, get this to single digits,” said Seminole coach Joshua Walker. “We’ve got 15 kids that believe in that locker room, and that’s a powerful thing.”