North Central senior guard Gunnar Swager drove the lane in the final seconds and hit a game-winning layup to lift the Indians past Kamiakin 44-43 in the first round of the 3A state regional tournament at Spokane Falls High School.
Kamiakin guard Case Rada had just hit a go-ahead jumper from 18 feet to give the Braves a 43-42 lead, but there was enough time for one final play for North Central. Swager took the inbounds pass at halfcourt and dribbled all the way in for the basket.
The Indians will advance to the 3A state quarterfinals at the Tacoma Dome, facing tonight's winner between Seattle Prep and Glacier Peak. The Braves will play Mercer Island at 3 p.m. Saturday at Spokane Falls Community College in a winner-to-state, loser out contest.