McHENRY – Of all of Shane Varvil's shots on Friday, McHenry basketball coach Tim Paddock liked a simple free throw the best.
Varvil made his last free throw with 5.6 seconds left to help seal a 55-53 overtime win over Prairie Ridge in the FVC Valley.
"Shane just has a will, he will find a way," Paddock said. "In the timeouts, he was going 'We're not going to lose, we're not going to lose this game.' That's the senior leadership you want."
Varvil led all scorers with 27 points, but struggled with the Prairie Ridge defense early to find his shot. After scoring five points in the first two quarters, the senior guard put up 14 points in the third quarter that helped put the Warriors (9-9, 2-4) up by eight heading into the fourth. Varvil had a breakaway layup on a steal and had three three-pointers, including one from three feet behind the arc.
"I got hot and then I just kept letting it go and it just kept going in," Varvil said. "Coach tells me whenever I feel like I have a shot, I can let it go."
The Wolves (6-13, 3-3) clawed their way into the game in the fourth to tie the game at 42 with 2:20 left in the game, with Jay DeLage scoring five points in the final quarter.
Prairie Ridge and McHenry both had several times to end the game, but both team's defenses played strong down the stretch.
Steven Ticknor missed a contested layup for Prairie Ridge on a drive with 55 seconds, Greg Johnson missed an open look on a three for the Warriors with 20 seconds left, and Ryan Gilbert missed a three at the buzzer for the Wolves.
Ticknor led the Wovles with 12 points and Gilbert added 11.
"I thought we did a good job scratching to get back in," Prairie Ridge coach Corky Card said. "If you would have told me that we'd go into overtime when we were down by 10, I would have been happy."
Back-to-back three-pointers to start overtime helped the Warriors put away the Wolves. Korey Partenheimer and Damian Zalewski each had a three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to help put McHenry up six with 1:45 left in overtime.
Varvil said that there was no doubt his team was going to take overtime.
"We felt like we had the momentum after that stop [in the fourth quarter]," Varvil said. "[The 3-pointer] got us going even more than we came down, hit another one, and kept the momentum going.