Farris Beats Buzzer to Sink the Sharks
Good shooters always have the green light, even when their shots don’t fall.
On Saturday, Parker Farris didn’t hit a single shot in his six attempts from the floor. But his head coach, GE Coleman, still dialed up a play for his struggling junior sharp-shooter, and Farris converted it to beat the buzzer, giving the University of Hawai’i at Hilo a thrilling 66-64 win over rival Hawai’i Pacific University in a matinee matchup at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.
On the final possession, Farris floated toward the right baseline, where he caught a pass from Ryan Reyes. His mid-range shot dropped in just as the clock hit zeros, sending the bench into celebration mode.
“We did a good job of executing out of the time out,” said UH-Hilo coach GE Coleman. “We had been running that play, which is a dribble-handoff to Parker, and number three for them [Chauncey Orr] was playing it so aggressive that we knew we could get something over the top, so we acted like he was coming toward Ryan Reyes and we knew we could either get a layup or a flare. We ended up getting a flare out of it and knocking it down.
Coleman credited the mental toughness of his top shooter, who just five days prior rewrote the record books with nine three point makes in 17 attempts during a win against Fresno Pacific University.
“It’s just part of the game. Some nights you’re on. Some nights you’re off. I’ve played enough games in my life to keep my confidence up and knock down my shot when your time is called. Sometimes, it’s not going to go in,” Farris explained.
All of Farris’ four points came late in the second half, including a pair of free throws with 36 seconds remaining that gave UH-Hilo a 64-63 lead.
On the next trip down, Hawai’i Pacific’s Jordan Martin was fouled on an attempt to grab a rebound by Nate Walker. Martin, the Sharks’ top three-point shooter, missed the first free throw and made the second with 19 seconds left, tying the game at 64-64 before UH-Hilo’s final possession.
Martin hit some key shots in the second half to cut down UH-Hilo’s lead, which at one point was as high as eight points. He drained three treys in the final 20 minutes and finished with 12 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
Overshadowed in UH-Hilo’s win was the first half outburst from Jordan Russell. The junior guard shot 5-for-7 from beyond the arc in the first half and dropped 25 points. He finished with a game-high 33 points on 7-for-12 shooting from three-point range.
“We were struggling offensively, and Jordan is probably the one guy on our team that can get a shot off at any time. Good, bad, or indifferent, he can get one off,” Coleman said. “Their defense was set, and he was able to just make tough shots over top of them.”
UH-Hilo (4-10 overall, 4-6 PacWest) got a much-needed boost to their bench with the return of Nate Walker, who had missed the last six games due to illness. While he didn’t score in his 11 minutes of game action, his 6-foot-6 frame brought some much-needed size back into the lineup.
Vandyon Lockett was the only player in double-digit scoring for UH-Hilo, putting down 15 points and four assists in 34 minutes. The Vulcans shot 46.9 percent (23-for-49) from the field and 9-for-24 (37.5 percent) from three-point range.
Hawai’i Pacific (12-5, 7-3) saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end. Orr scored a team-high 14 points, while Martin and Feigler each added 12. The Sharks out-rebounded UH-Hilo 42-29, but shot just 33.3 percent (22-for-66) from the floor.
Hawai’i Pacific 29 35 – 64
Hawai’i-Hilo 36 30 – 66