Dundee-Crown's boys basketball team turned a 20-point halftime deficit into an improbable 50-48 victory over Englewood on Monday in the opening round of the Elgin Holiday Tournament.
Tied at 48 with 8 seconds remaining, D-C senior Zach Pochop took the ball at midcourt and drove past defenders for the game-winning layup as time expired.
D-C advances to Thursday's quarterfinals where it will meet Elgin at 5 p.m.
"I knew from the second half, we were cutting through the zone and they weren't coming up and I knew I was quick enough to beat them off the dribble so I just took the chance," Pochop said. "Worst comes to worst, we would have gone to overtime."
Down 32-12 at the half, a spot in the loser's bracket seemed inevitable. However, the Chargers came out in a press, leading to a quick 13-3 run to cut the deficit in half, 35-25, with 4:26 left in the third. A Pochop 3-pointer cut the lead to lead to 39-34 heading into the fourth as the Chargers outscored Englewood 22-7 in the frame.
"The difference was we needed to play harder," said D-C coach Lance Huber. "I thought that we were concerned about their quickness and we got them to play faster and they threw the ball away and gave us some chances."
The Chargers (3-6) took their first lead, 43-42, after senior Cordero Parson hit a pair of free throws with 3:36 remaining. Englewood senior Tomas Carpenter tied the game at 48 with an easy layup inside with 8 seconds remaining before Pochop's heroics.
"When we got into the locker room, coach told us their weakness was making them play fast," Pochop said. "So we came out in the second half and pressured them and it began to turn our way. And our bench was a big part of it."
After a scoreless first half, Parson came off the bench and erupted for a team-high 12 points, including two 3-pointers. Senior Nick Munson also hit two 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 10 points. Pochop had 9 points for the Chargers, who shot 13-for-23 (57 percent) in the second half.
Shartone Moore led the Eagles with a game-high 17 points.