Glenbard North's Chip Flanigan turned two seconds into an eternity of opportunity.
With his team trailing by a point, the senior forward hauled in teammate Justin Jackson's three-quarter-court pass and calmly went to work. He took a couple dribbles, turned, fired over a defender and banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Panthers a 62-61 stunner over host Naperville Central in DuPage Valley Conference action on Saturday.
As a vocal road crowd went crazy, Flanigan's teammates did the same while mobbing Glenbard North's leading scorer in a pile on the court.
"Two seconds, as you can see, is plenty of time to put up a good shot," said Flanigan, who wound up with a game-high 21 points thanks to the grand finale. "We had no doubts at all. There was no mindset that we were going to lose that game."
It sure looked like it just a few moments earlier. Naperville Central (9-5, 3-2), which rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit, had just broken a 59-59 tie when Matt Bennett drove to the bucket and dished back to Pat Maloney for a midrange go-ahead jumper.
Time ran out as the Redhawks thought they won 61-59, but Glenbard North coach Joe Larson had called timeout and the referees put two seconds back on the clock.
A wild game found a fitting ending thanks to Flanigan's heroics.
"You've got to finish the game," said Redhawks coach Pete Kramer. "I'm extremely proud of the kids the way they fought back and executed when we needed to right there at the end. The kids were right there. It was our game to take."
Glenbard North (10-3, 4-1) broke an 18-18 tie by taking off on a 14-0 second-quarter run as Jeremiah Fleming, who scored 18 points, knocked down four 3-pointers. Flanigan's three-point play boosted the lead to 40-25 early in the third quarter, but Naperville Central stormed back behind Nick Czarnowski's post play and Taylor Zelinski's 3-point shooting.
Zelinski's fourth 3-pointer and a Czarnowski bucket capped the rally and gave the Redhawks a 59-54 advantage with three minutes left in the game. Fleming, Jackson and Flanigan scored to knot the game at 59 with just under a minute left.
Kendall Holbert scored 13 points for Glenbard North while Brett Gasiorowski played a huge role in the post coming off the bench. Czarnowski and Maloney combined for 36 points inside for Naperville Central. Zelinski finished with 12 points.
"That was a huge win -- exclamation point," said Larson, whose team fell to DVC leader West Aurora on Friday. "Winning it at the end is a credit to our guys for coming back one night after a disappointing loss at home. What a ballgame. I'm glad it went our way."
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