NAPERVILLE – Chip Flanigan salvaged what was about to be a lost weekend for Glenbard North’s boys basketball team.
The Panthers went toe-to-toe with the best that the DuPage Valley Conference has to offer, but they found themselves trailing Naperville Central with just a few ticks left on the clock Jan. 11.
That’s when Flanigan came to the rescue.
Receiving an inbound pass from Justin Jackson, the senior forward banked in a long 3-pointer as time expired, giving the Panthers a thrilling 62-61 win against Naperville Central.
“Just unbelievable,” Glenbard North coach Joe Larson said. “Justin threw the perfect pass to him and Chip did the rest. He made a play. There is not much you can do with two seconds, but the guys executed what they needed to do to get it in his hands and he made a great play.”
The improbable shot gave Glenbard North a much-needed split of its weekend games after the Panthers had dropped a 62-56 game to league leader West Aurora the previous night.
The victory against Central left the team in sole possession of second place in the DVC standings, one game behind West Aurora.
“That would be a big win no matter what, in any situation, but especially coming off a loss the night before where we were disappointed in how we played,” Larson said. “It is a credit to the guys for coming back after a tough loss to really play well.”
Against the Blackhawks, the Panthers took a two-point lead in the third quarter before West Aurora eventually seized control.
“We made some turnovers we usually don’t make,” Larson said. “But having said that, it was still a really close game. It came down to two or three possessions. Against a good team, if they have two or three better possessions than you do, you are going to lose.”
Next up for Glenbard North is a conference matchup against Wheaton Warrenville South tonight. Tough nonconference games against Hinsdale Central and Geneva follow Saturday and Tuesday, respectively.
“Every game is a tough game,” Larson said, “and you have to be ready to play. We’re looking forward to working on some things in practice and getting ready for Wheaton Warrenville South.
“And it’s good, we’ve got some good nonconference games coming up along with our tough conference. It gets you battle-tested going into the playoffs and gives you an idea of what you need to work on.”