Lake Zurich drops OT heartbreaker to NSC leader Lake Forest

Lake Forest had not lost a game since falling to host Lake Zurich by four points on Jan. 15. and the host Scouts were hoping to get some revenge Friday night.

Riding a seven-game winning streak into the rematch, the host Scouts got that payback in style as they pulled out an unbelievable 46-44 North Suburban Conference victory over the Bears in overtime to remain in first place in the NSC with a 10-1 record.

The wild ending to this low-scoring defensive struggle started when Lake Zurich's Kain Kretschmar (11 points) hit a running shot with 22 seconds left in regulation to force a 40-40 deadlock heading into overtime.

Lake Forest (19-5) kept Lake Zurich (16-7, 8-3) alive by hitting 2 of 6 free throws late in overtime before the Bears' Ryan Carroll (11 points) hit a 3-pointer with three seconds left to tie the score at 44-44.

After calling timeoutsĀ at 2.8 and 2.0 seconds left the Scouts set up a play at halfcourt. Bolurin Taiwo hit 6-foot-2 teammate Tommie Aberle (9 points) deep in the lane before Aberle scored the winning basket on an inside shot as time expired. Lake Forest's raucous student section stormed the court after the dramatic victory.

"You've got to make free throws and layups to win a close game against a really good team and we were 6-for-12 from the line," said Lake Zurich coach Terry Coughlin. "It was a great game between two really good teams and I'm hurting for our kids right now. They played their hearts out on the road against a really good team and I'm proud of their toughness and resilience."

Lake Forest's Efe Yardimci exploded for 14 of his game-high 18 points in the third quarter, including three 3-pointers. Anton Strelnikov led Zurich with 12 points while teammate Nick Popovic scored 10 points. Taiwo had 9 points followed by Hudson Scroggins with 8 points.

Aberle described the game planĀ before his game-winning shot.

"We've had that play in for a couple of years. Bolurin made a great pass to put me in a great spot to score," said Aberle. "It's a huge win for us. They beat us at their place about a month ago and after that game we haven't lost since then."

The Scouts have an NSC showdown against Warren on Tuesday.

"They're a heck of a team and they're going to be a tough team to be reckoned with in the playoffs," said Lake Forest coach Phil LaScala. "Our guys battled through some adversity and missed free throws, and we didn't hit a 3 in the whole first half."

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