Bluejay spirit on full display at end of Friday’s game

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Perry's Ryan Rathje scores two of his game-high 23 points against Winterset Friday. Rathje buried five consecutive 3-pointers in the third quarter, but it was unselfish play as time wound down that will be long remembered.

For nearly 32 minutes Friday night the boys basketball teams from Perry and visiting Winterset were engaged in a fierce Raccoon River Conference battle.

However, it was what happened in the final seconds that will long live in the memories of those lucky enough to witness the moment, as sportmanship was given a moment in the spotlight.

Perry led, 70-58, with under a minute to play when Winterset senior reserve Ryan Hinsch was sent into the game. The special needs student and final man on the bench received a pass from his teammates as the Bluejay defense parted. He fired a 3-pointer that missed, was given a pass from a fellow Husky reserve and fired again, then fired once more.

His third miss fell into the hands of Perry senior Ryan Rathje, who deliberately passed the ball to Hinsch and then stepped aside, allowing the popular Winterset player to drive to the basket uncontested a score.

Fans of both teams stood and applauded as the players and coaches on the Winterset bench celebrated wildly.

Perry passed the ball down the court, but a Winterset player stepped in front of the intended target for a steal. Hinsch received the outlet pass at mid-court, then drove down the lane as Perry’s Solomon Pierce stood by, allowing the senior to score again with two seconds remaining.

Hinsch was mobbed by his teammates and coaches at the buzzer, with Rathje singled out for hugs and comments from the Husky coaching staff for his unselfish act.

For nearly 32 minutes the two teams had fought desperately for a victory. In the final few moments, both won.

Video appears courtesy of Winterset Girls Basketball, who originally posted the scene on Twitter.com.

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