Kobre, Vikings in nation’s top video clip

By PHIL BARBER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Alec Kobre, meet Kemba Walker.

Both young men recently survived a hard-fought tournament to emerge as an unlikely national champion. Walker did it as the star of the Connecticut Huskies basketball team. Kobre did it over the World Wide Web, where a video clip of his buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-point shot at Cardinal Newman on Jan. 18 was recently voted the best in the country in 2010-11.

MaxPreps.com, the go-to web site for high school sports, set up a 16-team bracket of clips from the past season, calling it MaxMadness and encouraging fans to vote in head-to-head match-ups. Winning clips advanced to the next round, just like tournament teams.

According to Steve Montoya, director of editorial and content for CBS Interactive’s Sports division – the group that runs MaxPreps – the Kobre footage was selected as a candidate because of the dramatic nature of the shot (which gave the Vikings a 44-42 win), the history between the two teams and, especially, the delirious celebration that follows as visiting Monty students storm the court and cavort like lunatics.

Here’s a link to the video on MaxPreps: http://video.maxpreps.com/video/Q8Nl8KBk1UqcV_nWmTNM9A/montgomery,-ca—buzzer-beater.htm

To reach the final, the clip – shot by YSN365.com’s Dave Cox – had to defeat, in order, “Posterizing jam by Demarcus Harrison from Christ School,” “Isaac Lewis & Cody Cowan’s buzzer beater (Orting, Wa.)” and “Bryant Magee wows the crowd (West Marion, Miss.).”

Montgomery outpointed Bryant Magee by the narrowest of margins (51 percent to 49), then dispatched “Tomahawk dunk by Keerthi Boru (Grace Christian, N.C.)” in the final round, by about 1,500 votes – yes, many of them originating in Santa Rosa.

“The Montgomery community did a nice job at the end,” Montoya said. “The tomahawk jam was one of the top vote-getters throughout the tournament, but toward the end Montgomery was able to separate.”

MaxPreps is charting new territory at this point, but plans to send Kobre and the Vikings a certificate commemorating their Play of the Year. MaxMadness was such a success that the site plans to expand the concept to other sports in the future.