Nelson's 3-pointer at buzzer knocks out WW South
Colin Nelson, all of 145 pounds, delivered the ultimate haymaker to the Wheaton Warrenville South boys basketball team Saturday night in St. Charles.
Nelson, a St. Charles North reserve guard, had not even attempted a shot against the Tigers in the schools' DuKane Conference game until literally the last seconds.
But the one Nelson offering -- a baseline 3-pointer -- splashed home with a second remaining to give the North Stars a 37-36 victory.
St. Charles North (7-9, 2-4) had not led since the Tigers' Matt Sherrman hit a runner in the lane as the first quarter expired.
"Luke Scheffers passed me the ball," Nelson said. "I was supposed to be a decoy. Once Luke passed me the ball, I knew there wasn't much time left. I had to throw it up."
St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin originally designed the play for Scheffers to attack the Tigers on a drive in the paint.
But Scheffers found Nelson all alone in the farthest reaches of the left baseline.
Nelson barely arched the ball over a fast-charging Dorian Howard, the Tigers' second-tallest player at 6-foot-6.
WW South (12-5, 4-3) could manage only 5 field goals in the third and fourth quarters after hitting the North Stars with a 24-5 run spanning the first two quarters in taking a 24-13 lead into the locker room.
But, just as they did to start the game, the North Stars opened the second half by scoring the first 8 points of the third.
Lucas Heflen, who led both teams with 12 points, scored five straight in succession to cap the North Stars' mini-burst.
"It restarted the game for us," Poulin said of the opening minutes of the third quarter. "An 11-point lead to Wheaton Warrenville South is like a 20-point lead."
WW South would have only one player score -- Sherrman -- in the third quarter as his three drives to the hoop accounted for all the Tigers' points.
Sherrman and Owen Struebin, who scored all of his points in the first half, led the Tigers with 10 apiece.
"It seemed like we got real tentative (after halftime)," WW South coach Mike Healy said. "We attacked in the second quarter, but we didn't do a very good job in the second half."
Heflen drained a 3-pointer to forge the only tie of the game at 30-30 with 5:07 remaining.
The Nelson heroics were set up when WW South muffed the front end of a one-and-one.
"We totally expected a low-scoring game with a lot of motion," Heflen said. "We battled them."