The Holbrook boys basketball team hadn’t won a state championship since 1971, and when the team trailed by 15 points with less than seven minutes left in Saturday night’s Arizona Class 3A championship game, it didn’t look like 2011 would be the year the drought ended.
Finishing the game with full-court pressure that led to a 24-3 run, Holbrook defeated a much taller Fountain Hills team 49-43 at the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.
"No one expected us to do this," Koerperich told the Arizona Republic after the game.“I knew we were going to come back.”
Kory Koerperich, a 6-foot-1 guard and three-year starter, scored six points from the free-throw line in the final minute to hold off Fountain Hills on his way to a team-high 12 points
Other Holbrook players in doubles figures were Torrian Epps with 11 points and Rashaun Baldwin with 10. Jalen Jackson, the team's leading scorer at 16.3 points per game, finished with nine.
Fountain Hills took a 40-25 lead with 6:47 left and seemed in control with its front line of 6-foot-9 Nick Baker, 6-8 Tyler bode and 6-4 Jeffrey Bonner. Holbrook's tallest starter was Jackson, who is 6-3.
Baker was the leading scorer for Fountain Hills (29-6), which had won state titles in 2005, 2006 and 2007. This was Fountain Hills' first final since 2007.
Holbrook (29-5), the No. 1 seed, was playing in its first final since 1991. Fountain Hills was seeded No. 2.
Holbrook is a city in eastern Arizona. Fountain Hills is northeast of Phoenix.