Photo: Senior Dan Miller works some defense during the varsity boys exciting 32-31 comeback victory over Morris on Friday. Photo by Kimberly Anderson
Carlson’s putback buzzer-beater gives KHS win No. 1
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a case of right place, right time for Kaneland junior Tyler Carlson.
But that ending sequence couldn’t have taken place without a battling mentality, which helped the Knights crawl back the entire game against Morris on Friday night.
Carlson’s (four points) rebound and putback off the glass after a John Pruett (11 points) three-point miss gave Kaneland a 32-31 win over Morris in Northern Illinois Big XII action.
It was the first win of the young season for the Knight unit after a hard-luck 0-3 start.
“I just saw the shot go up and it was the right place at the right time,” Carlson said. “It was my first buzzer-beater and it felt pretty good.”
Morris fell to 2-2 with the setback.
The fourth quarter marked the first time Kaneland actually had a lead after a three-point play by Dan Miller made it 27-26 with 6:20 remaining. Pruett connected on a foul shot with 4:47 to go to make it 28-26 before a Ben Ortiz basket with 4:10 to go tied the game.
Ortiz’ three-pointer with 1:18 to go gave Morris a 31-28 edge, setting up the final exchange.
Two missed shots by Kaneland hindered a comeback attempt, but Miller’s two charity stripe shots with 57.5 to go made it 31-30.
KHS got the ball back, but a time out was called with 17.7 seconds to go after no shot opportunities opened up, setting the stage for the final sequence.
“The last one was a lucky one,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “Ty just happened to crash and got the ball and barely got it off. We’re very fortunate to come away with the win.”
Morris led 13-7 after one quarter. A three-point play by Pruett with 2:38 remaining closed within 10-7 before an Evan Bjelland three with 58.7 to go upped the lead to six.
Morris led by as much as seven in the second quarter, but baskets by Pruett and Matt Limbrunner closed it to 18-14 with 34.9 remaining in the half.
Kaneland kept matters close, and a Miller basket with 3:15 to go in the third made it 23-22 before a Bjelland three with 33.3 to go set the stage for the final frame.
Sycamore represents the next challenge for KHS, in a match-up along Spartan Trail on Saturday, Dec. 8.