Buffalo Grove and Niles West wound up in an extra effort nonconference boys basketball game Saturday night in Skokie.
And BG coach Ryan O'Connor clearly thought it was Niles West's determination which led to its 50-48 victory on Lauris Herth's layup off a loose ball with three seconds left in overtime.
"I'm very frustrated at our lack of competitiveness," O'Connor said. "I expected more from returning players and seniors. They feel like they can turn it on and off.
"I give (Niles West) all the credit in the world - they completely outhustled us except for the first quarter. They picked up their pressure and we didn't respond."
The Wolves (8-6) are responding well to the effort and intensity expected from new coach Bob Williams, which was a trademark during his successful 18-year tenure at Schaumburg.
They bounced back from a 78-46 loss Friday night at state-ranked Waukegan. And they rebounded from a 19-10 deficit after the first 8:22 when BG (10-6) junior Jeff Zabrin came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers and score 11 of his game-high 14 points.
"I'm very proud of our kids," said Williams of a program that was 9-17 last year. "(Friday) night we didn't have a very good effort, against a great team albeit, but we didn't do the things we set out to do after the first quarter and a half.
"Tonight things didn't look so good at that same juncture but the kids turned it up."
Extending the man-to-man defensive pressure fullcourt sparked the Wolves to a 28-27 halftime lead. From there neither team led by more than 3 points.
Niles West missed a shot to break a 42-42 tie at the end of regulation. BG went up 47-44 with 1:40 left on a 3 by Nick Prus (9 points, 9 rebounds).
Rodney Metellus' third-effort rebound basket put Niles West up 48-47 with 42 seconds left.
Kevin Mulligan (12 points) tied it on a free throw eight seconds later.
Mulligan deflected a pass out of a double team into the lane but it went right to Herth and he went in and scored. On a floor-length inbound play out of a timeout with 2.9 seconds left, Dan Recht hit Mike Cornely at midcourt and he found Prus in the right corner, but his 3 at the horn was short.
"This was very big - what we like to say is a character win," said Wolves senior Boris Cayemitte.
"Really tonight was just about hustle," O'Connor said. "We got outhustled by a team that wanted to win more than we wanted to."Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.