Timothy Christian keeps it going through overtime
A.J. Vos said nobody wanted Timothy Christian's special season to end Friday.
The senior forward certainly made sure it didn't.
After making the game-winning jumper with 18 seconds left in overtime, Vos then came up with a block on the other end to preserve the Trojans' 58-57 win over the host Chargers in the Class 2A St. Joseph boys basketball regional final.
In improving to 25-5 on the winter, top-seeded Timothy Christian advances to the Genoa-Kingston sectional to take on Wheaton Academy for the third time.
"This has been a special season for many reasons," said Vos, whose winning shot from the free-throw line gave him 15 points, "and this is a special group of guys. From the first second till the last, we knew we didn't want it to end, even when we were down 13.
"Coach drew up a great play out of the timeout and I was able to hit that last shot."
Things looked bleak out of the gate when the Chargers (14-18), battled-tested in the strong Chicago Catholic League, jumped out to a 16-3 lead. But the visitors used a 19-7 run to pull within 23-22 at halftime.
Josh Harris took over for Timothy Christian over the final two quarters, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the final stages of the third and scoring 8 more in the fourth. He finished with a game-high 21 points.
"It was an amazing atmosphere," Harris said. "Give it up to St. Joe's, they brought a great crowd and so did we.
"We got down in that first quarter, but we had to keep our heads and keep playing. That's a great win, we knew it would be a close game. Coach always tells us to play till the final buzzer. And A.J. stepped up big-time."
Trailing by 1 heading into the final eight minutes, the Trojans grabbed the lead on a layup by Zach Orange with 3:10 remaining. Then they led 51-48 with 37 seconds left after two free throws by Harris. But the Chargers' Jon Robinson knocked down a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime.
The lead seesawed back and forth in the extra session before Vos's final shot. The senior, who added 9 rebounds, then got a piece of a long jumper by Markus Becton in the closing seconds.
Becton topped the Chargers with 18 points and Kyle Thomas had 13 points and 13 rebounds. The Trojans got outrebounded 21-3 on the offensive glass.
"When you think about what a high school basketball game should be like," Timothy Christian coach Scott Plaisier said, "you would think about a historic program like that with a bunch of talented players and great coaches in that home gym. And I felt like all night our boys were as resilient as they could be.
"I give our guys so much credit, to be able to step up and make big shots when they know they are going home if they miss."