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Addison Trail doesn’t pass on victory
By Kevin Schmit | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 2/9/2013 11:41 PM

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Everyone in the gym knew James Pupillo would take the last-second shot.

Until he passed it.

Pupillo’s pinpoint feed to Simon Jakubczak led to a buzzer-beating layup and Saturday’s 44-42 West Suburban Gold victory for Addison Trail’s boys basketball team over Hinsdale South in Darien.

The stunning finish created a mass celebration as the Blazers (8-18, 2-8) won for the first time since a three-quarter-court shot topped Fenton on Jan. 8.

“I was looking to shoot, but then I saw Simon out of the corner of my eye and knew he was going to finish it,” Pupillo said. “We were poised out there and we knew what we were going to do. The trap came at me and I just whipped it at him.”

Addison Trail drained more than a minute off the clock after Hinsdale South (7-16, 3-8) tied it at 42 apiece on a basket by D.J. Deolitsis with 1:33 left. The Blazers had a timeout remaining, but coach Brendan Lyons chose to let his team work for a set play in the final seconds.

Pupillo — who scored a game-high 19 points — had two players draped on him, including 6-foot-8 freshman Barret Benson, as time ticked away. Jakubczak flashed to the basket and scored just as the buzzer went off.

The play negated a furious fourth-quarter rally by Hinsdale South, which trailed 40-30 following consecutive baskets by Pupillo. Jerry Stoltz scored 6 points and Benson added 4 points to tie the game at 40-40. Taylor White’s basket briefly gave Addison Trail 42-40 advantage.

“I was contemplating using a timeout, but I didn’t want them to set up something,” Lyons said. “We knew what we were going to do there. We’ve been on our bigs about catching and finishing because we think we have some guards that can set them up for easy baskets.”

Jordan Garcia tallied 14 points for Addison Trail while Stoltz and Benson scored 10 points apiece for Hinsdale South.

Addison Trail broke out to a 13-4 lead and never trailed despite Hinsdale South staying close the entire way.

“Everyone’s going to focus on the last play and rightfully so, that was a heck of a pass that kid made,” said Hornets coach Tanner Mitchell. “But the bottom line is we can’t start off the game the way we did. You can’t decide to start playing in the fourth quarter or five minutes into the game.”

Follow Kevin on Twitter@kevin_schmit