His family and friends know Richard Dennis Lutze as R.D. Lutze.
On Friday night, the initials stood for Real Dramatic.
The Aurora Christian sophomore forward picked up a loose ball near the midcourt circle, took a step forward and launched a 3-point half-court heave that banked off the backboard and fell through the net as the buzzer sounded, giving the Eagles (13-10, 4-5) a thrilling 60-57 Suburban Christian Blue victory over Marmion (13-11, 4-3) in Aurora.
“I was aiming toward the hoop and it went in,” said Lutze, who finished with 13 points.
Eagles coach Pat McNamara, who spent 5 seasons as head coach at Marmion, wasn’t totally shocked by Lutze’s flair for the dramatics.
“He’s never been shy,” said McNamara. “We do practice half-court shots for a pop before every game and R.D. is probably best at it.”
While his long-range shooting appears to be in good shape, Lutze may need to work on his celebration form.
“I was stunned,” Lutze said of his initial reaction after the ball went through the basket. “As soon as I hit that, I honestly didn’t know what to do. I kind of stood there looking like what just happened.
“I’m still stunned about it,” he added. “It’s like a dream.”
Almost as outrageous as the winning shot was the fact that the Eagles didn’t even have possession of the ball when the play began following a Marmion timeout with 1.7 seconds remaining.
The inbounds pass from the Cadets’ Danny Bicknell that was intended for Tyler Maryanski was tipped into the air by Eagles sophomore guard Pat McNamara.
The ball landed in Lutze’s hands — and the rest was history.
“Zach (Singer) was guarding the ball so he (Bicknell) had to throw it up high and Pat tipped it,” said Lutze, who said his last game-winning shot came back in seventh grade. “I was in the right place at the right time.”
“We were trying to get the ball to Mike (Sheehan) and we had it wide open but they knocked the ball out of Tyler’s hands,” said Marmion coach Ryan Paradise, whose team had its 4-game winning streak snapped.
“The kid (Lutze) hit a great shot at the end but we gave so many possessions away,” added Paradise.
Some of those possessions came in the second quarter as the Cadets were outscored 22-13 and found themselves trailing 36-28 at halftime.
“I was proud of our effort in the second half but in the first half we were not Marmion at all,” said Paradise. “We weren’t engaged in what we were trying to do.”
Senior Johnathan Harrell led the Eagles with 17 points, 5 assists and 5 steals, while Wes Wolfe added 12 points and Singer chipped in with 7 points and 7 rebounds.
“I liked the way some guys played out there,” said McNamara. “Wolfe got us out early in the first half. It was just a great win. We needed a win. We had lost a couple (games) in a row so it was nice to get a W. We want to get some momentum going for the regionals.”
Junior Jordan Glasgow scored 16 of his game-high 20 points in the second half while Sheehan added 16 points for the Cadets.
“That kid has so much heart,” Paradise said of Glasgow. “Anything I ask him to do, he’ll do. He’s very capable of doing that. He was very effective in the second half.”
“He just kept going to the bucket and we had no answer for him,” McNamara said of Glasgow. “He’s a hard cover for us.”
Trying to defend Lutze’s game-winner wasn’t easy, either.
“Hopefully this can be our turning point in the season and we can start getting hot,” said Lutze.