Yorkville beats Morris at buzzer
If there was a more exciting way to end the NIB-12 East regular season, then it would be hard to top what happened Friday night in Yorkville.
The Foxes, who trailed 45-37 to the visiting Morris Redskins with three minutes left in the game, closed on an incredible 9-0 run to shock the Redskins 46-45. Sophomore guard Josh Bondurant hit a floater in the lane with three seconds left to cap off the comeback for Yorkville.
"I had a feeling that the ball was going to me," Bondurant said, who lead the Foxes with 17 points on the night. "Thank God that the shot went in."
All this happened due to two things: Yorkville shooting lights out down the stretch and the Redskins missing two front-ends of 1-and-1 free throw opportunities. Those misses allowed the Foxes a chance to score more baskets, which is exactly what they did.
"Those two misses along with two turnovers killed us there," Morris coach Joe Blumberg said. "It seemed that there were some loose balls there that we just didn't grab."
A Morris turnover gave the ball to Yorkville with 40 seconds left, where Foxes' head coach Dan McGuire called timeout. After a missed shot, the ball went loose and seemed to be heading out of bounds. That was before senior forward Taylor Carter made a diving safe for the ball for Yorkville, throwing the ball off a Morris player and keeping the Foxes' chances alive.
"We executed the original play pretty well, they just had great defense against us," McGuire said. "That safe on the sideline was absolutely huge and I'm proud to be Carter's coach tonight."
"That save by Carter was really big because if that didn't happen, we probably wouldn't have won the game," Bondurant added.
Yorkville did not call timeout after that play, instead letting the players play it out on the court. That decision by McGuire proved to be huge, as the Bondurant shot was able to fall for the Foxes, finishing off the closing 9-0 run to steal one from Morris.
With the win, Yorkville carries some momentum into the postseason, which starts Monday for them at Wheaton-Warrenville South High School.
"We're going to enjoy this one for about 12 hours, and then were going to get ready for a tough opponent that's very similar to Morris," McGuire said. "So we'll have our work cut out for us."
On the night for Morris, seniors James Matteson led all scorers with 19 points while fellow senior Jake Hogan pitched in 11.
Morris heads into the postseason trying to rebound. The Redskins' opening game is Wednesday at the Herscher regional.
"We're going to go to breakfast tomorrow and keep the mood light," Blumberg said. "We might have a ceremonial burning of the DVD of this game. We just have to find a way to forget this one."