Lisle claims unlikely overtime triumph
If one more bit of adversity had been thrown at it, maybe Lisle's boys basketball team couldn't have pulled this off.
With their top defensive player out, an off night from their top scorer and spotting Manteno 9 points, the host Lions still topped one of the Illinois Central Eight's teams to beat, 52-48 in overtime.
"We were positive," said Lisle junior guard Sean Etzkorn, who stepped up after top defender Connor Nigro missed the game due to injury.
"We always try to keep fighting and keep going," Etzkorn said. "We never quit. We just keep battling, and it showed up and we won."
Lisle (5-2, 3-0) trailed 9-0 in the first quarter and 18-8 midway through the second quarter.
Manteno guard Trevor Moisant hit three straight 3s "H-O-R-S-E"-style -- left baseline, top of the key, right wing -- for a 32-19 Panthers lead at 3:35 of the third quarter.
"I thought, OK, maybe we're going to find our rhythm," said Manteno coach Zack Myers, who noted his team had been scoring in the 60s.
"Then they changed defensive pressure and some matchups and I felt like we couldn't get back to that."
Manteno (4-4, 1-1) led 34-28 after three quarters, but Lisle hung in there on 3s from Ray Bandzoumouna and Joe LaScala, the coach's son.
Three LaScala free throws then four by Cal Payne and Bandzoumouna tied the score 43-43 with 2:04 left in regulation. It remained that way the rest of the fourth quarter.
"I had missed two layups before and I thought to myself, if we lose it might be on me," said 6-foot-2 senior Bandzoumouna, who scored a team-high 16 points to Payne's 10.
Demetrius King Jr., averaging 20 points, fouled out midway through the fourth quarter with 8 points.
"So when I got fouled and got to the line, I thought, I've got to hit these so that we can win this game, and then I would be happy at the end of the day," Bandzoumouna said.
A Payne free throw at 1:15 of overtime gave Lisle its first lead, 48-44. Bandzoumouna hit two free throws for a 50-46 lead with 35 seconds left.
Manteno's Robbie Wesselhoff scored on a running bank shot for a 50-48 margin, and the Panthers forced a turnover on Lisle's inbounds play.
Lisle's Josh Farrell tipped a would-be tying shot, Bandzoumouna rebounded and was fouled. He went 2-for-2 from the line with 6.1 seconds left for the 52-48 lead.
Moisant's 18 points led all scorers, forward Darien Bechard adding 15 points, 10 rebounds. Off Lisle's bench, Farrell scored 7 points.
"We weren't going to score in bunches tonight," said Lisle coach Mark LaScala, "but we were able to claw back through it and get multiple stops."