Last night's Boston City League high school rivalry game between East Boston and Madison Park had the unlikeliest of finishes: With the score tied at 40, Madison Park's Johnny Bowden was fouled while attempting a three-pointer with one second remaining. Bowden was awarded three fouls shots, and he made the first two. He deliberately missed the third, no doubt because the chances an East Boston player would be able to grab the rebound and make a length-of-the-floor shot in a matter of one second were so minuscule. Well, as luck would have it, East Boston's Pat Santos did just that, as you can see above, and East Boston escaped with a 43-42 victory. (The full video, plus player and coach interviews, can be seen on the Boston Herald's website.)
Madison Park's maneuver raises the question: Was missing on purpose the right play? Obviously, the miss forced East Boston to hurry and make a miracle shot (a one in a million chance, let's say). It doesn't happen often, but it has been done before. On the other hand, had Bowden made the third free throw, East Boston, now needing a three to tie, would nevertheless have had time to set up some kind of play. That play still would have required going the length of the floor, and its chances of success still would have been small (one in 100,000, let's say), and the best possible result for the trailing team, obviously, would've been a tie.
Our vote: You try to make the free throw. But for the high school coaches (and armchair coaches) out there: What would you do? Let us know in the discussion below.