VILLA PARK – When you're grabbing a dozen rebounds, it's easy to lose track of each and every one.
Aaron Tims, though, won't soon forget his 13th board on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-8 Hinsdale South senior scored on a putback as time expired to rally the Hornets to a 51-50 West Suburban Gold boys basketball victory over Willowbrook in Villa Park.
After the Warriors (6-12, 1-3) missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and after a Hinsdale South (14-2, 5-0) timeout, Billy Durkin rocketed downcourt before having his last-second shot partially blocked by Willowbrook sophomore Sean Paige.
The ball went off the backboard and right to Tims, who calmly swished the shot to end the game.
"That was crazy," said Tims, who scored 11 points. "I knew Billy could get to the rim and I just wanted to follow him. If the ball came out, I was going to be right there to get it. When I shot it, it felt pretty good."
The last three minutes featured a flurry of action. James Ruzicka knocked down a 3-pointer to put Hinsdale South ahead 47-42, but Willowbrook stormed back behind Everett Stubblefield III, who hit six 3-pointers and scored 11 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter.
Stubblefield's steal and bucket put Willowbrook ahead 50-47 with 1:42 remaining, but the Warriors didn't score again. A Warriors turnover with 25 seconds left led to a Durkin basket and a 50-49 game. Then came the missed free throw and Tims' game-winner.
Tuesday's loss was the latest in a series of heartbreaking defeats for Willowbrook.
"We had ample opportunities," said Warriors coach Chris Perkins. "We've got to scrap and claw for what we get, and a lot of our games are going to go down to the wire."
The game had 12 lead changes and three ties as Hinsdale South led by as many as seven points and Willowbrook's biggest lead was eight points early in the second quarter.
Sam Tumilty scored 14 points for Willowbrook. Ruzicka led the Hornets with 14 points while Bobby Durkin added 13 points.
"Our guys battled back and showed composure at the end," said Hornets coach Brett Moore. "They stepped up and made some big plays, but I don' t want to go through too many of these."