Lisle senior Kyle Frazier called the final minute of Tuesday's Class 2A regional semifinal "probably the longest minute of my life."
Lions coach Mark LaScala called it "a blur."
They could also call it the time they pulled out a 41-37 victory against rival Westmont, ending a four-game losing streak against the Sentinels.
Senior post players Phil Palicka and Chris Wray keyed the Lisle attack, combining to score 34 of the Lions' 41 points.
"We had a lot of games this season where one was on and the other wasn't," LaScala said, "but the last two nights they've both been big contributors, and that's a tough combination."
"I think size is probably a big thing too," Frazier added about the 6-foot-4 Palicka and 6-6 Wray. "We've just got to get it inside to them and they know what they're doing down there."
Westmont (15-14) led 23-21 at halftime, but Lisle took the lead with an 8-2 run to open the second half and held it the rest of the way. Neither team led by more than 5 in the game.
Westmont got three good chances to cut into Lisle's 3-point lead in the final minute but couldn't get any of them to drop.
"We've played twice this year and they've been good, competitive games both times," Westmont coach Craig Etheridge said. "It came down to who shot the ball better and early on they did, and then in the second half they outmuscled us and we weren't strong enough to hold our ground and get the loose balls and stuff. Their physical play basically beat us."
"The game just took so long," Frazier said. "It was back and forth. We just had to get the ball in our possession and hold onto it."
Lisle put the game away with 3.8 seconds left on Curt Walker's free throw, the only Lisle point not scored by Wray, Palicka or Frazier.
Wray finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Palicka added 16 points and 4 assists. Frazier hit two 3-pointers and had 6 rebounds.
Defensively, Lisle held Westmont to 14-of-38 shooting, in part by controlling the lane with a 2-3 zone.
"In the previous two meetings their bigs were able to get the ball inside," LaScala said. "We wanted to force the perimeter shot and rebound it."
Lisle will host Aurora Christian in the final at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Eagles defeated Collins 73-41.
"We just don't want the season to end," Frazier said. "We're trying to fight to stay in this. It's mostly good defense and stuff. We've been working real hard on that. We're just trying to buckle down and win these games."