Tueni Lupeamanu threw 15 touchdown passes for Herriman’s football team this past fall in leading them to the first round of the 4A playoffs.
His assist on Jaden Rasmussen’s game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer was better than any of those touchdown passes.
With 3.7 seconds left on the clock, Lupeamanu caught an inbounds pass near the top of the key, but immediately spotted Jaden Rasmussen out of the corner of his eye. Rasmussen’s man had sagged toward Lupeamanu for the double team, leaving him all along outside the 3-point line.
Rasmussen caught it, and buried the jumper to lift Herriman to the 56-55 win, it’s first playoff win in the brief history of the school.
“I ran off instinct. I felt he was more open than I was. I let him get a chance. Trust my team. Just like football,” said Lupeamanu. “That’s just like a touchdown pass for me.”
The assist denied Logan’s student section the pleasure of the “just like football” chant.
Lost October, Logan’s football team thrashed Herriman 56-22 in the first round of the playoffs. Once the basketball playoffs were set last week, Lupeamanu’s teammates immediate started referencing that football loss as extra motivation.
“My whole team was giving me crap, we can’t have the same result. I was like ‘you’re right dudes,” said Lupeamanu. “Different sport, different mindset. We’ll go in however we need to come. Coach said it’s a 32 minute game, play the full 32 minutes and we’ll win. Obviously the full 32 minutes counted for us.”
The assist was Lupeamanu’s third of the game, and it was also Rasmussen’s third 3-pointer of the game. The contribution from multiple guys was about par for the course for Herriman this year.
“Literally every night we’ll have somebody else step up. Jaden has hit big shots for us in the past, I don’t know that we’ve ever hit a buzzer beater game-winner like that,” said Herriman coach Brad Tingey. “You could pick anyone of those seniors. They all just at the right time have stepped up and made plays. It’s interesting and we joke, we have no idea who’s going to be the man on any given night.”