Benton Harbor wins OT thriller to capture state title
EAST LANSING, Mich. - A dream season now has its fitting end for Benton Harbor: a state championship.
After falling in the state semifinals a season ago, the offseason work for the Tigers seniors was fulfilled - thanks in large part to a sophomore.
Carlos Johnson's three with ten seconds to play in overtime gave Benton Harbor a one-point lead, and after a missed layup by Grand Rapids Catholic Central on the other end, a 65-64 win for the title.
“When [GRCC] missed the free throw [to keep it a two-point game], it was like God was on our side," Johnson said of the final sequence. "Then the shot, just made it go in. The feeling is amazing, to bring one back to Benton Harbor. It’s been 50-something years. We’ve had this goal since I was in 4th grade so it’s just a dream come true.”
The Class B state championship is the first for Benton Harbor since capturing the Class A title in 1965. Through the jubilation of making school history, the impact on the community wasn't lost on the Tigers.
“This is big for the school. This is big for the city," said head coach Corey Sterling. "It’s big for everything, the businesses. For us to come out here and unite the city. Did you see our fans out there tonight? Did you see Benton Harbor? They showed up and showed out.”
View highlights of the game and the Tigers' reaction above!