ST. CHARLES – Hinsdale Central coach Nick Latorre remembered a similar situation as the Red Devils controlled the ball with the clock ticking toward zero in regulation Friday.
St. Charles North forward Max Love had just buried a game-tying three-pointer with 30 seconds.
Ben Oosterbaan and Chase Collignon had one more play to make.
Oosterbaan, who had 22 points and six rebounds, commanded the North Stars’ defensive attention. Collignon, recognizing it, slipped back door underneath the basket. Oosterbaan then fired an inside pass on the cut and Collignon for the buzzer-beater to stun St. Charles North 52-50.
“We had a game Tuesday against Oak Park. Similar situation, we were down one,” Latorre said. “Had the ball off of an offensive rebound and I called timeout. The ball was kind of fumbled…we didn’t get a good look, kind of had a fadeaway. It was fresh in my mind.”
“We had the ball in the right guy’s hands. The floor was spaced, we had the right personnel in there,” Latorre continued.
Oosterbaan was looking to get a pull-up jumper. He didn’t want to take a three, saw Collignon cut and “then just acted like I was going to shoot it”.
“[I] dished it down to him and he made a great cut and a good finish,” Oosterbaan said.
“One of the things that we focus on is moving without the ball,” said Collignon, who had six points, all in the fourth quarter. “So I saw the open lane and I just cut right there. I knew Ben would have faith in his teammates. I knew he’d pass to me and I knew I’d make it.”
For the North Stars (9-7, 5-2), the help-side defense “wasn’t where it needed to be at the end.”
“I’ll own that,” North Stars coach Tom Poulin said. “I had Ethan [Marlowe] dropping and helping probably a little too much. [Collignon] then made a smart cut. [The] back-side needs to take that away, but at the end there, you’re staying attached and we’ll look at the film and be better.”
Following Love’s three, Poulin tried to call timeout “blatantly before the ball came in [on the in-bound] but I wasn’t granted the timeout.”
Hinsdale Central (11-6, 2-2) regardless, prevailed in the end.
St. Charles North built a 10-point first quarter lead, but Hinsdale Central was able to claw back and eventually take its own 10-point advantage heading into the final quarter.
Ned Hayes split two free throws with 1:57 left and on the second miss, Love scooped up the rebound and got the putback for a three-point play to make it a three-point game with 1:41 left at 50-47.
“We played our best basketball in the first and fourth quarter. We [didn’t] in the second and third, I feel like,” said Love, who had 21 points, 11 in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve lost so many close games. We’re trying to figure out how to win. Some nights, people are cold. Some nights, people are hot. Tonight, I played good…[although] I could’ve played better on defense and I made some bad decisions.”