CARPENTERSVILLE – Dundee-Crown forward Brad Stec had the kind of shooting night he probably would like to wipe from his memory, and a finish he never will forget.
Stec had made 1 of 12 field-goal attempts until the Chargers’ final possession. Ultimately, his last shot against Hampshire was the only one that mattered.
D-C held the ball with 1:08 remaining and the score tied and waited for the last shot. Damarion Butler patiently dribbled above the key as the final seconds ticked down and Stec came off the lower left block, using Jack Michalski’s screen.
The 6-foot-6 senior turned and tossed in a 6-footer, similar to several shots he had taken except that this time he found nothing but net. When Hampshire’s Nick Erickson’s desperation half-court shot missed at the buzzer, D-C had a 37-35 Fox Valley Conference victory Friday night.
“I thought to myself, ‘I have to keep taking these shots,’ throughout the game,” Stec said. “I knew the play was coming to me and when I shot it, I knew it was going in. At first I thought, ‘Oh, my god, did that just happen?’ Then I looked at the clock, and we still had two seconds and had to hold them.”
D-C (14-3, 6-2) is tied for the FVC lead with Crystal Lake Central (11-5, 5-1). Hampshire fell to 11-7, 5-3.
Stec had plenty of company in regards to cold shooting. Both teams combined to hit 17.8 percent from the field in the first half, then warmed up a bit to 32.6 in the second.
“Defensively, we really stepped up,” Chargers forward Jack Michalski said. “That was the emphasis before the game, we knew they could put up 70 or 80 points a game. Coach (Lance Huber) was striving to get our defense better. We helped each other out, getting in gaps and closing out on shooters, flying around and picking up guys you usually wouldn’t guard.”
The Chargers defeated Central on Wednesday, then Hampshire by allowing 67 total points in the two games.
D-C jumped ahead, 17-10, early in the third quarter, but Hampshire came back on 3-pointers from Collin Woods and Nick Erickson and took a lead at 23-22. The Chargers’ Justin Prusko was fouled at the end of the third quarter and sank three free throws with no time remaining to put D-C back ahead.
The Chargers never trailed in the fourth quarter. The Whip-Purs’ Justin Anderson converted a three-point play with 1:08 to go to tie the score at 35-35.
“We weren’t planning on holding it, it just worked out,” Huber said. “We said we were going to run our offense and take the best shot we got. When we got to 30 seconds, we told them to hold it for one. Brad made the one that counted.”
Woods led Hampshire with 15 points, and Erickson added nine.
“With us in the bonus, we didn’t want to foul [at the end],” Whips coach Ben Whitehouse said. “We were concerned about trying to trap and getting a foul called. We wanted to play great defense. We defended that play well all night, and we did a good job defending it there, but Brad made a heck of a shot.”
STAR OF THE GAME
Dundee-Crown, sr., F
Michalski led the Chargers with nine points and sparked them early in the second half with seven of those points. During that third-quarter stretch, he had an alley-oop dunk off a pass from Josh Raby and a 3-point play.
76: Combined points scored this week by D-C in victories over FVC leader Crystal Lake Central and second-place Hampshire.
AND ANOTHER THING ...
D-C guard Doug Miller committed a turnover with just more than 3:10 remaining in the frontcourt that looked as if it would lead to a layup by Hampshire guard A.J. Bishop. But Miller quickly atoned when he blocked Bishop’s shot to keep the score tied at 29.
Dundee-Crown 37, Hampshire 35
Milison 1 0-0 2, Woods 3 7-8 15, J. Anderson 1 1-1 3, Erickson 3 1-2 9, Rosa Jr. 0 0-0 0,Shaw 1 0-0 2, B. Anderson 0 0-0 0, Davis 0 0-0 0, Bishop 2 0-1 4. Totals: 11 9-12 35.
Butler 2 1-4 5, Miller 1 2-2 4, Raby 2 1-2 5, Michalski 4 1-2 9, Stec 2 0-0 4, Hatcher 0 2-2 2, Prusko 1 6-9 8, Huber 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 13-19 37.
Hampshire 8 2 13 12 – 35
Dundee-Crown 5 8 12 12 – 37
3-point goals: Hampshire 4 (Woods 2, Erickson 2). Total fouls: Hampshire 17, Dundee-Crown 12.