Baskin's buzzer-beater lifts Naperville Central past Naperville North
Whatever you do, don't let Cam Dougherty beat you.
Mission accomplished ... kind of.
Waiting on the left wing was teammate Kyle Baskin. With time winding down he took the pass from Dougherty and knocked down a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Naperville Central's boys basketball team Friday's 48-45 DuPage Valley Conference victory at Naperville North.
Dougherty had 30 of his team's 42 points before Neil Gupta came off the bench to hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:15 left in the fourth quarter. After Riley Thompson tied the game at 45 for Naperville North, the Redhawks called time out with 8.4 seconds left to set up the final play.
Dougherty took the inbounds pass in the backcourt, but Zeke Williams' tough defense forced the third-year starter to dish the ball. Baskin was ready.
"Cam was having such a big night," said Baskin, who scored all 8 of his points in the second half. "He found me and I just let it go and tried to get it off. Luckily it went in. I thought Cam might have a shot, but they were just sending too many guys at him. I just knew I had to be ready to shoot."
Naperville Central (16-8, 4-3) earned the regular-season sweep, but the second game was nowhere near as easy as December's 20-point win. Behind Thompson's three 3-pointers and 11 of his 19 points, the Huskies (11-13, 2-5) burst to a 16-6 first-quarter lead and led 20-13 late in the second quarter.
Seven straight points from Dougherty, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, helped the Redhawks tie it 20-20 at the half.
"I look at the growth our team has made since the first time we played them, and that's what I'm focusing on," said Naperville North coach Gene Nolan. "Are we better than we were two months ago? Yes. So there's a lot to grow from that. And we're going to come back to practice tomorrow and keep growing and keep getting better."
Myles Barry, who scored 13 points for Naperville North, hit a 3-pointer and split a pair of free throws to push the Huskies to a 42-37 lead midway through the fourth quarter. A Dougherty 3-pointer and the 3 by Gupta -- who scored 9 pivotal points for the Redhawks, playing without starter Aidan Kramer due to illness -- rallied Naperville Central.
"Baskin just stepping up and hitting an incredible shot," said Dougherty, whose 30 points tied his varsity high. "I can't think of anything cooler than beating your rival at their place on a buzzer-beater. That's literally the dream of any high school basketball player. I'm so happy for him that he was able to get it. It was a fun one."