It seemed like every time Dundee-Crown needed a big basket junior guard Brandon Rodriguez delivered.
Scoring 20 points, including 4 in the last 28 seconds, Rodriguez helped propel the Chargers to a 48-43 victory over upset-minded McHenry in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball action in Carpentersville Friday night.
Trailing McHenry 43-42, Rodriguez drove past two McHenry defenders for a layup to give the Chargers the lead for good, 44-43, with 28 seconds remaining in the contest.
"I was not supposed to take the shot but I read McHenry's man-to-man defense and was able to get the basket for a layup," said Rodriguez. "I was playing with a lot of confidence and had to take control. McHenry played a great game and gave us everything we wanted. This is a big win at home and we are now 3-0 in the conference."
Rodriguez gave the Chargers (10-6, 3-0) a 3-point cushion, 46-43, with 2 free throws with only 5.8 seconds left.
"Brandon is a very gifted offensive player who can get to the hole," said Dundee-Crown coach Lance Huber. "We probably don't win this game without Brandon's offense."
Bruce Dantzler sealed the win for the Chargers with 2 free throws with 2 seconds left. Dundee-Crown ended the game on a 6-0 run.
The Chargers seemed on the verge of blowing out McHenry (5-10, 0-3) in the first half but couldn't deliver the knockout punch. A 3-pointer by Kyle Bernhard gave the Chargers their biggest lead of game at 22-10 with 3:22 left before halftime.
But the pesky Warriors responded and got to within 7 at intermission 25-18 on a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Jasper Taylor.
McHenry kept battling and took its first lead of the game, 41-40 on a 3-pointer by Danny Glick with 1:40 remaining.
"Give McHenry credit," said Huber. "They did some good things out there and deserved to win. They out played us and we were very fortunate to win. I was worried all day. They lost to Jacobs and we beat Jacobs. The kids might have not have taken McHenry seriously."
Dantzler backed Rodriguez with 8 points while Thomas McNally scored 7 for D-C.
McHenry, which made 7-of-20 from 3-point range, was led by Robert Tonyan with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Glick and Taylor added 8 points each.