A hero is born: Drucker’s buzzer-beater lifts Prospect over Glenbrook North

Prospect senior Jerry Drucker’s last shot Tuesday night was the kind a player might pull out to win a game of horse.

But Drucker’s driving and fading 18-footer from the right baseline over three defenders had much bigger implications at Jean Walker Field House. When it swished through the net at the buzzer Drucker had given the Knights a dramatic 40-38 nonconference victory and Glenbrook North its first loss in 9 games.

“I knew it was going in instantly off the way he was fading and the backspin on the ball,” said Prospect senior Cole Chapman after his 10 points and 11 rebounds contributed to the ultimate bench-clearing mob scene around Drucker.

“I kind of work on that fadeaway jumpshot sometimes but never in a buzzer-beating situation like that before,” said Drucker, who thought he was slightly behind the backboard on the shot that gave him 10 points. “When Aiden Walter made the skip pass to me in the corner I knew there were three or four seconds left. I got around my defender and pulled up and it felt good and had a great release.”

It was also a nice way for the Knights (6-3) to finish Military Appreciation Night and a rugged stretch that included losses last week to Schaumburg and Rolling Meadows. They never trailed as Frankie Poshnjari (10 points) scored the first 6 points and they led 29-18 late in the third and 34-26 with 4:50 to play on a drive down the lane by Drew Terpins.

Glenbrook North finally drew even for the first time at 38-38 with 38 seconds to play on a beautiful no-look backdoor pass from Josh Fridman to Owen Giannoulias for a layup. Prospect called time with 15.5 seconds left although coach Brad Rathe didn’t design what Drucker delivered.

“We were trying to get something else and I was going to call another timeout, but with them scrambling on ‘D’ (trapping man-to-man) like that I trusted them,” Rathe said with a smile. “It wasn’t exactly how we drew it up. That was a tough, tough shot.”

The perimeter defense of Terpins, Walter and Drucker also made it tough on the talented senior guard trio of Sam Lappin (game-high 16 points), Giannoulias (9 points) and Fridman (6 points). The Spartans shot just just 28.3 percent from the field (13-for-46) overall and 4-for-23 from behind the 3-point arc.

“To do that with their backcourt is good for us,” Chapman said.

“It was defiinitely a rough shooting night but credit to them, they guarded us and played hard,” said GBN coach Quin Hayes. “We just didn’t play our best basketball and they outplayed us in physicality and rebounding. We missed free throws and had 8 turnovers and 6 assists and you’re not going to win with those types of stats.”

Poshnjari also had 7 rebounds of the Knights’ 31-26 advantage and Shavez Rodgers came off the bench to add 4 rebounds and 3 assists.

“This gives us some confidence for sure,” Drucker said.

Thanks to the big booster on the final play.

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