The quest to win a state title can make athletes do amazing things. In Pennsylvania, it made one diminutive guard fly.
With Bishop Guilfoyle High School (Altoona, Pa.) and Farrell (Pa.) High School locked in a tight state quarterfinal, Farrell’s Kyi Wright seemed to have a breakaway to the hoop. The only man who could catch him was a full seven inches shorter, so what did he have to worry about, right?
As his team’s last line of defense, Bishop Guilfoyle’s diminutive Jessiah Witherspooon sprinted, elevated and swatted Wright’s would-be layup right off the glass.
It was a bona fide LeBron James impression from a 5-foot-9 guard, and it was awfully impressive.
In the end, it really did make a difference, too: Bishop Guilfoyle held on for a 55-52 victory, then knocked off Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in the state semifinals to earn a berth in the state title game.
If Bishop Guilfoyle finds a way to take home the crown, everyone on the roster will have played a role. Still, few will have come through bigger in a critical spot than Witherspoon, who had no right to make the play he did when he absolutely needed to.