There was a lot working against Schaumburg on Tuesday night.
The host Saxons were facing an athletic Glenbard North squad that likes to trap and use their speed to force turnovers. And to further complicate matters, the Saxons were playing without three-year starter Kyle Bolger, who was sitting out with an undisclosed injury.
But through it all, Schaumburg maintained its composure, overcame an outstanding individual performance from the Panthers Chip Flanigan and converted at the free throw line in the final minute to pull out a 61-55 nonconference victory.
With the playoff runs weve had in the best, experience is the best teacher, said Schaumburgs Jimmy Lundquist, who led the Saxons with 16 points and 3 3-pointers. Weve been there before. It was no pressure.
After leading 45-38 going into the fourth quarter, the Saxons found themselves trailing the Panthers (8-11) by 4. But Ryan Kase drilled a 3-pointer and Bobby Green, who muscled his way to 7 second-half points, scored inside to reclaim the lead for good with 2:40 to play.
Schaumburg (14-9) made all of the right plays down the stretch as Lundquist, Cole Reyes (12 points) and Carlos Sarasti combined to go 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the final minute to seal it.
To be calm is the best thing to do against a trap when its coming full speed at you, Reyes said. We grabbed two-handed rebounds and came down and hit 6-for-6 at the free throw line at the end of the game to seal the deal.
The 6-foot-5 Flanigan controlled the action the entire night, scoring a game-high 24 points and dishing out 9 assists.
And no stretch was more impressive than the early part of the fourth quarter when the junior made a 6-point deficit vanish in the blink of an eye. In a span of 25 seconds, Flanigan scored on a layup, got a steal and a dunk, before capping it off with another steal and a lead pass to Harry Singh for a layup.
Hes really a talented player, isnt he? said Schaumburg coach Matt Walsh. Hes long, athletic, handles the ball well, shoots the ball well and passes the ball well. Hes always got a smile on his face while he does it, too.
Our overall team pressure was good during that stretch, said Glenbard North coach Joe Larson, who also got 9 points from Kendall Holbert and 8 from Pasquale Fiduccia. We got a lot of turnovers and got back into the ballgame.
Lundquist made the play of the game when he blocked Flanigans drive to the rim to preserve a 1-point lead with less than two minutes remaining. Reyes scooped up the rebound and dished to Sarasti for a layup.
Its a game of swings, Lundquist said. We know that theyre going to get their runs, but in the end, we can finish games. We came together and finished strong.