Nolan, Wauconda shoot past Lakes
Film session today could have been a little uncomfortable for Wauconda senior forward Andrew Nolan.
He made a boo-boo on defense Tuesday night in a Class 3A regional semifinal against Lakes.
A big boo-boo, actually.
Senior guard Michael Behrendt drained a 3-pointer with about 10 seconds left that gave Lakes a 1-point lead. And he did it on Nolan's watch.
"It was my fault, it was my rotation and I didn't get there to close out," Nolan said. "I was disappointed with myself, but I think I made up for it."
Um, yes. And then some.
Nolan will probably get a pass while watching film on Behrendt's 3-pointer because within seconds of the 3-pointer going down, Nolan sprinted the floor, set up in the offense, wound up with the ball at the free throw line, spinned toward the basket and nailed a 10-foot jumper with 1.5 seconds remaining to give Wauconda a 52-51 regional semifinal victory.
It was his first-ever game winner.
"Definitely the biggest shot I've ever hit," Nolan said. "Not even close. I never hit a game-winner like that. It feels good."
The Bulldogs, who got a team-high 18 points from Donovan Carter (four 3-pointers) and improve to 12-18 on the season, will face Carmel on Friday in the regional championship. Wauconda is seeking the first regional title in boys basketball in school history.
"The kids had confidence. They knew they could win this game and they believed they could win this game," said Wauconda coach Scott Luetschwager, who recorded the 100th victory of his coaching career with the win. "This is good for a kid like Andrew, who just works hard. He's a high-energy kid who just never quits. It's a great moment for him tonight."
Just seconds before, Behrendt thought it was his big moment.
Behrendt was on fire from 3-point range all night. What he thought might be the game-winner with 10 seconds remaining was his sixth 3-pointer on the game. He topped Lakes with 18 points. It was the most prolific showing from 3-point range of his 3-year varsity career.
As a team, Lakes hit a total of 11 3-pointers.
"I hit the shot and it was unfortunate, we didn't even get a chance to celebrate at all because right away (Wauconda) was hitting that shot (by Nolan)," Behrendt said. "It's a tough pill to swallow. But we played a tough game. We battled back the entire time. We can go out with our heads up on this one."
Lakes, which closes the season at 12-18, was down at the end of every quarter, and was down by as many as 15 points midway through the second quarter.
"This is the fourth time we've played Wauconda (twice during the regular season and once over Thanksgiving), so when you know a team so well, you know the game is probably going to come down to the end like that," Lakes coach Chris Snyder said. "Both teams competed so hard. It was a great playoff game. Our second-half effort was great and we gave ourselves a chance to win. But our second quarter, we got a little lax defensively and Wauconda was shooting it well."
Lakes also got double-figures from Brad Cherry, who scored 12 points on two 3-pointers, and from Wade Parmly (10 points).