RECAP: GBS 63, ST. VIATOR 58
It was … royally impressive.
Just when you thought the game was a lost cause for the Glenbrook South boys basketball team, the Titans found a way.
Long live the King.
The junior guard came up with the biggest shot of his career, when he nailed a three-pointer at the top of the key — and at the buzzer — to force overtime against mighty St. Viator in an opening round game at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic on Dec. 27.
King also ruled much of the overtime period. His two assists, along with a steal and fast-break layup with five seconds left to play, sparked GBS to a rather incredulous 63-58 victory over the talented Lions, who entered the contest with eight wins and one loss.
“I was more than happy to take the shot in that situation,” said King, who finished the game with 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals. “Biggest shot that I’ve ever hit.”
Time basically stood still as King raced down court, stopped and popped.
“Nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said first-year head coach Phil Ralston.
King and the Titans got a break, when St. Viator’s Peter Lambesis missed the front end — and the back end — of a two-shot foul with seven seconds left.
GBS’s Gavin Morse corralled the second miss and immediately pushed the ball out to King.
And instead of calling a timeout, Ralston let things roll. He allowed King to do his thing.
“The kids did a great job of communicating on the court,” said Ralston.
They also did a great job of overcoming a tough situation.
After allowing a 12-point advantage — GBS led 42-30 with 7:36 left in the fourth quarter — to completely evaporate, the Titans, who came into the contest 3-7, managed to extend the game into overtime by scoring six points — King’s three and Dominic Martinelli’s trey from the right corner — in the final 9.3 seconds of the fourth quarter.
“I told the kids that they might have to weather a storm — and that storm came midway through the fourth quarter,” Ralston said. “But after the game tightened up, I thought our kids did a good job of rising to the occasion.”
“We had to fight through some adversity,” noted King.
Martinelli had a magical game. The sophomore seldom missed as he came up with a game-high 23 points (2-for-2 from three-point range, 5-6 at the foul line).
“I loved seeing him score like that,” said King. “I loved seeing him have a break-out game.”
Martinelli helped the Titans go on a 10-0 run in the third quarter. He had 10 points in those eight minutes.
One of his best shots came with 33 seconds left in the fourth quarter, when he challenged St. Viator’s Jeremiah Hernandez, who was straddled with four fouls at the time, to score on a reverse layup.
In the overtime session, Martinelli did it again — and again — against the 6-4 Hernandez (22 points, 10 rebounds). He took a feed from King to score a driving layup with 2:36 left to play. Then, with 55 seconds remaining, he drew a foul from Hernandez (his 5th) and hit a pair of free throws to put his team ahead 60-56.
Morse, who finished with 11 points, two rebounds and two assists, was the game’s unsung hero. In overtime, the junior scored a layup on a backdoor cut off a feed from King and then took a charge on the defensive end just a few moments later.
“We didn’t deserve to win the game. Not at all,” said St. Viator coach Quin Hayes. “We only played good basketball for four minutes of the game. You’re not going to win at the varsity level, when you do that.”
GBS’s Game Balls: Will King (Jr., G), Dominic Martinelli (So., F)
St. Viator Game Balls: Jeremiah Hernandez (Jr., F), Treyvon Calvin (Jr., G)
Player of the Game: King
Unsung Hero: Gavin Morse
GBS’s Stat Leaders
— Martinelli (23 points, 3 rebounds)
— King (10 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals)
— Morse (11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists)
— Mac Hubbard (7 points, 6 rebounds)
— Zach Carr (5 points)
— Yianni Mavrakis (3 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists)
St. Viator’s Stat Leaders
— Hernandez (22 points, 10 rebounds)
— Calvin (11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals)
Notable: Glenbrook South was scheduled to play Waukegan High School on Dec. 28 at 7:15 p.m.