With 1.9 seconds remaining in his game against Glenbrook South, Rolling Meadows junior Brian Nelms caught a sideline inbounds pass a foot inside the half court line, and put up a shot.
"It was almost like the second he shot it you knew it was in," Glenbrook South coach Scott Nemecek said.
"In" is exactly what it was. Nelms' shot didn't even hit the rim. It was a perfect swish to give the Mustangs a 64-61 win in the first round of the 36th Annual Pepsi Elgin Holiday Tournament on Monday.
Had Nelms ever hit a half-court shot before?
"In practice," Nelms answered with a laugh. "Not like that. No. Not at all."
Nelms' buzzer-beater was the capper to a fourth quarter that featured a couple other spectacular moments for the Mustangs (4-6). First, with 2:58 to play junior guard Eric Lowe (10 points) converted a 4-point play to cut the Glenbrook lead to 57-54.
Then with 10.3 seconds to play junior guard Tyler Gaedele (23 points) sank a 3-pointer to tie the game at 61. After Gaedele's 3-pointer a Glenbrook South (4-6) turnover provided the setup for Nelms' final shot attempt.
"That's what you hope for in the fourth quarter, is for guys to step up," Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said.
Nelms picked up 2 early fouls and didn't score any of his 11 points in the first half.
"At halftime I was looking at my body, and I wasn't even sweating yet," Nelms said. "The second half I was a little nervous. I didn't want to come out and try to do too much. I just kind of worked myself in."
With Nelms on the bench Gaedele, Lowe and senior center Paul Volkman (11 points, 6 rebounds) stepped up to keep the game within reach.
"Our leading scorer was out for the whole second quarter," Gaedele said. "That's when guys have to step up, and I think we did that."
Rolling Meadows hit ten 3-pointers in the game, with Gaedele making 7 of them.