Freshman Hupp's buzzer-beater puts Hersey over Wheeling
Jackson Hupp delivered a left hook to the jaw of Wheeling Friday night in Arlington Heights.
The freshman's shot turned out to be a knockout punch as the ball dropped through the hoop as time expired to lift the Huskies to 50-49 Mid-Suburban East boys basketball win over the Wildcats.
"Just because of my size and my skill, we try to isolate me in the post," said the 6-foot-5 Hupp, who would finish with 13 points and 5 rebounds.
"I do have a left a hook. I am a lefty and righty. As soon as I put it up I knew it was going in."
Hersey (2-6, 1-1) trailed by 1 point with 3.5 seconds left. Hupp inbounded the ball to Carson Grove at the top of the key. Grove then made a perfect pass to Hupp in the paint, who then turned to his left and softly put the ball into the basket as the Hersey bench and home crowd exploded in joy.
"I am so proud of our guys for battling," Hersey coach Austin Scott said. "All the hard work is done by the kids."
The Huskies trailed 49-46 with 41.6 seconds left after a pair of free throws by Wheeling's Aima Igiehon (8 points).
Grove (7 points) then drove for a layup with 13.9 seconds left. Hersey was hoping to foul, but did even better when the Huskies forced a turnover, giving them an opportunity to win it.
"There were a million possessions in that game that could have gone differently for us," Wheeling coach Tom Antosz said. "We are not going to pinpoint on that last possession."
Wheeling (3-5, 0-2) led 28-19 early in the third quarter when the Ryg brothers sparked Hersey.
Johnny Ryg, who would finish with 17 points, and Jared Ryg, who would come off the bench to score all 10 of his points in the third quarter, rallied the Huskies to a 37-32 lead late in the third quarter.
"It was fun," Johnny Ryg said, "We have a big freshman. Our goal was to go inside so we could make in and out 3s. We have been struggling. Once we got it into the post it opened up opportunities."
Scott loved the way the Rygs helped get things going for the Huskies.
"It's a good day to be Johnny and Jared Ryg's mother tomorrow," Scott said, "I am really proud. They went all in tonight."
Wheeling used its depth to regain the lead. The Wildcats had 9 different players score as they surged ahead 45-40 with 4:19 left on a basket by Josh Hutchinson.
Hupp would add a basket and free throw to cut the deficit to 47-46 with 2:45 left.
"It has been a struggle to get to 30 and we got to 50 tonight," Scott said. "There were a lot of positives. You win games with seniors doing unsung things and our guys have bought in."
JJ Kaspar and Elijah Hutchinson led Wheeling with 9 points each.