Williams half-courter lifts Elgin to win
The best word to describe the final 30 seconds from those who participated in the Elgin vs. F.W. Parker game Wednesday to describe the final 30 seconds was crazy.
There was a player scoring in his team's own basket. Parker missed 3 of 4 free throws. And Arie Williams hit a buzzer-beating half-court shot to lift the Maroons to a 55-54 victory in the first round of the 38th annual Elgin Holiday Tournament.
"I've got a headache. That was a crazy game. A crazy ending," said Williams, who now stands at 999 career points.
The Colonels (8-3), who went just 2-of-9 from the free-throw line in the final 2 minutes, led 53-47 with 40.8 seconds remaining after Parker's Cornell Jackson missed 2 free throws. Williams missed a shot, but got the offensive rebound after the ball bounced around for several seconds. Williams nailed a 3-pointer with 27 seconds remaining. Following an Elgin timeout, Parker inbounded the ball and scored on its own basket to make it 53-52.
With 12.8 seconds left, the Colonels' Noah Wolff hit 1 of 2 free throws for a 54-52 lead. Williams missed an off-balance shot in the paint and Parker's Zachery Kupferberg grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 2.8 seconds remaining. Kupferberg missed both free throws. Williams rebounded the second miss, dribbled to half-court and nailed the game-winner.
"I've never seen anything like that before in my life," Parker coach John Bongiorno said.
Elgin (7-6), which will play Dundee-Crown at 6:45 p.m. today in the quarterfinals, led 15-12 after the first quarter. The Colonels outplayed the Maroons most of the final three quarters until the strange finish.
The Maroons, who won the tournament championship last year, didn't lead in the second half until a 3-point play from Tanner Bednar with 5:34 remaining in the fourth quarter gave them a 44-43 lead.
That lead lasted less than 20 seconds as Wolff nailed a 3-pointer as Parker regained the lead, 46-44. Elgin didn't lead again until Williams' buzzer-beater.
"We got outrebounded. We didn't get 50-50 balls. (Parker) out-hustled us," Maroons coach Mike Sitter said. "We played all out for 2 seconds. We don't deserve to win. I told that to their coaches and I told that to my team."
Williams led all scorers with 25 points, 17 in the second half. Bednar added 9 points. Eric Sedlack grabbed 13 rebounds.
Henry Peters scored 20 points for the Colonels. Langdon Neal added 16 points.
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