Hill's big shot wins DVC for Naperville North
No one on either team made a shot through the final two minutes of regulation, the entire first overtime and the first two-and-a-half minutes of the second overtime.
Still, Jack Hill felt the steady confidence to let it fly.
Naperville North's senior guard drained a long 3-pointer and was fouled on the play, converting the 4-point play to carry the Huskies to Wednesday's 37-35 double-overtime victory over visiting Wheaton Warrenville South.
Hill's clutch bucket with 1:33 on the clock -- the Huskies' only points in the second overtime and first points since the final two minutes of regulation -- helped clinch the outright DuPage Valley Conference title for Naperville North (24-2, 15-1). The Tigers (22-6, 13-3) were denied the chance at a share of their second straight DVC crown.
"I'm always confident in my shot," Hill said. "I'm going to step up big for my team. I love these dudes so I've got to hit that shot for them."
The Huskies' Tom Welch split a pair of free throws with 1:21 left in regulation to tie the game 33-33. In the waning seconds WW South's Jake Healy emerged from a pack of players with an offensive rebound and was fouled on a putback attempt. After huddling, however, the referees ruled the foul came after time ran out and the game moved to overtime.
No points were scored in overtime. Neither team even took a shot.
Jeff Kratz gave WW South a 35-33 advantage midway through the second overtime, but that was countered by Hill's 4-point play. The Tigers got the ball back one last time with 14.7 seconds left but couldn't get a shot off before time expired.
"That's a tough loss, especially with the conference championship on the line," said Tigers guard Parker Robinson. "But we've still got the playoffs, and we still get to practice tomorrow. Getting good games against good teams like Naperville North, that's just going to get us ready for the playoffs."
The Huskies avenged their lone DVC loss, a 39-36 decision at WW South on January 20 when they played without injured leading scorer Chris Johnson. The 6-foot-7 senior scored 10 of his game-high 15 points in the third quarter on Wednesday.
"Last time I was watching this game from my living room on TV, and it felt so good to play and get the win," Johnson said. "DVC was one of our goals, but we've got to keep moving forward."
There were 13 lead changes and seven ties. WW South's largest lead was 4 points midway through the second quarter while the Huskies never led by more than 3 points.
"I know 37-35 in double overtime isn't probably the most enjoyable, but there were kids just busting their tails," said WW South coach Mike Healy. "I couldn't be more proud of our guys. I'd take them any day of the week. I wouldn't trade them for anything."
Robinson paced the Tigers with 10 points while Healy, Chase Stebbins and Matt Brodhead scored 7 points. Hill had 11 points and Welch scored 9 points.
"Credit to Wheaton Warrenville South, they played extremely hard," said Huskies coach Jeff Powers. "And credit to our boys. They showed a lot of guts and a lot of resilience today. They kept battling and battling."
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