Ford’s three-pointer leads Minutemen to victory
“Grab the ball!” St. Paul Central Boys’ Basketball Coach Scott Howell yelled at forward Dion Ford when he failed to go after a loose ball earlier in their team’s 68-65 nonconference victory over Osseo last Friday evening.
With the score tied and St. Paul Central in possession with time running down, Ford got another chance at the ball and seized it, catching a pass from teammate Luke McElroy and draining it from three-point range as time ran out, giving them the dramatic victory after being down 10 points early in the second half.
The crowd rushed the floor in excitement as time ran out, culminating one of the most exciting boys’ basketball finishes in recent memory — with the heroic Ford buried underneath the pile.
Shooting guard Dionte Davis led the victorious Minutemen with 26 points, Ford ended up with 12, and Ronnell Porter and McElroy each chipped in 10.
Osseo had a balanced attack led by Terrance Watts’ 20 points. Eli Barlue had 16 and Deonte Ferguson added 13. Tariq Henry contributed nine points to complement his point guard duties.
The capacity crowd — displaying unprecedented excitement and enthusiasm — was reminiscent of the excitement the Minutemen garnered during their heyday in the 1980s as one of the state’s premier basketball programs.
St. Paul Central alum Tyron Minor summed it up best in a Facebook post after the game: “It definitely had a throwback vibe.” Minor starred in football and track and field before graduating from Central in 1989.
He played wide receiver for the Minutemen and led the track and field team to the state championship his senior year, winning the long jump and triple jump as well before continuing his track and field career at Drake University and the University of Minnesota.
Oh yeah! Here’s the irony of Minor’s statement: He is now a physical education teacher at Osseo.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.