Larkin senior guard Derrick Streety sent Saturday night's Mac Irvin Diabetes Classic finale against Morgan Park to overtime with a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left in regulation, but the gutty Royals ran out of magic at the end of an 84-82 overtime loss to the defending Class 3A state champs.
Larkin (5-1) grabbed an 82-80 lead on a pair of free throws by Streety with 1:36 left in the extra period, but Morgan Park junior guard Kain Harris, who scored 20 of his team-high 23 points in the second half and overtime, knotted the game with a jumpshot from the elbow.
"I knew if I just stayed within my game shots would start falling for me," Harris said.
Morgan Park, playing its season opener without 6-foot-7 senior Josh Cunningham -- whom coach Nick Irvin said will miss two weeks due to an asthma attack -- then took the lead on its ensuing possession as senior forward Lamont Walker followed Harris' miss with 1:08 left in overtime.
Larkin inbounded the ball with 12 seconds left, but a good shot never materialized. Streety, covered at the top of the arc, was forced to step inside it and take an off-balance jumper. Freshman Christian Negron's tip wouldn't go, and the carom squirted to Larkin senior guard Kendale McCullum. His off-balance, 10-foot attempt at the buzzer rattled in and out to the groans of the big crowd on hand.
"Unfortunately, I didn't draw up a very good play at the end of overtime," Larkin coach Deryn Carter said. "Our guys tried to get it in but it just didn't work.
"It came down to Derrick trying to make a great play. Then Negron got his hands on the ball, then Kendale got his hands on the ball. I don't know how in the world it didn't go in, but it didn't.
"But I told my guys whether we win that game by 1 or lose that game by 2, we accomplished a lot tonight."
The Royals were led by Streety's 27 points. The point guard sank 5 of 7 attempts from 3-point range and drained all 10 of his free throw tries. Senior forward Drew Jones enjoyed one of his best games in three varsity seasons. The 6-foot-5 forward scored 17 points, hauled down 12 rebounds, made 2 steals and blocked a shot.
"I think we're happy with what we did but we could have done better," Jones said. "We would have liked a different outcome. Otherwise, I think we came together even more."
The Royals led 32-28 at halftime and the game was tied 52-52 going to the fourth quarter. The Mustangs took a 74-71 lead on a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Charlie Moore with 15.3 seconds to play.
Streety then drilled the 3-pointer to tie the game, even though he was not the first option on the play, a fact not lost on Larkin's coach.
"The shot for Streety was the third option," Carter said. "For high school kids to get to the third option on December 7 in this type of atmosphere, I told them that was high-level execution."
Senior Torry Johnson had 18 points, Walker (6-5) finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds and 6-5 forward Marcus Johnson added 9 pints and 10 rebounds.
McCullum had 11 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists and Negron added 8 points 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.