Funny thing about 3-point shot attempts.
Sometimes it doesn't matter how many you miss as long as you make one at the perfect time.
Prospect found that out the hard way at the 35th annual Wheeling Hardwood Classic, thanks to Deerfield guard Eric Porter.
The junior nailed a long, off-balance, falling-out-of bounds 3 at the buzzer as Warriors defeated the Knights 46-43.
"I was basically behind the backboard," said Porter of the game-winner from the far right corner. "I had to put a little extra arc on it, but the key was the great pass I got from Alexander (Glantz, a Deerfield senior guard.)"
It was only the second 3 of the game for the Warriors in 8 attempts, but that was nothing compared to Prospect's long-distance shooting struggles.
The Knights were only 3-for-16 from behind the arc.
"We were missing not only 3-pointers today, but also layups and free throws," said Prospect coach John Camardella. "There were numerous things we could have done better -- and on the flip side, Deerfield did all the right things they needed to do to win."
With the outside shots not falling, Prospect (8-3) used strong play in the paint to build a third quarter lead that increased to 31-23 when junior guard Tommy Flahaven (9 points) hit a layup, was fouled and sank the foul shot.
But Deerfield used patience and hustle to battle back and the Warriors took a 43-42 lead with 33 seconds left on a short jumper by Porter, who scored 13 points.
Knights senior Devin O'Hara (8 points) sank 1 of 2 free throws with 14 ticks remaining to tie the contest. But Deerfield was able to work to ball to Glantz, who drove the basket and found Porter open for the winner as time expired.
"Great pass," said Camardella. "That was the exact same play that Illinois used earlier in the year to beat Hawaii. Our rotation on it was just a step slow."
Six-foot-4 junior guard Bobby Frasco led the Knights with 15 points, while senior forward Mike Houghton corralled 5 of his 7 rebounds in the back-and-forth final quarter.
"I'm disappointed, and the guys are disappointed," said Camardella. "But I think we have the maturity to push through our frustation and disappointment and take some good things out of the last three games we have in this tournament."