The 2005-06 season has been up and down for the Lyons Township boys basketball team and Friday night's West Suburban (Silver) Conference game against Oak Park was no exception.
After holding Oak Park to a mere two points in the second quarter and jumping off to a 12-point lead, the Lions (11-8, 3-5) fell flat late in the second half and succumbed to the Huskies 50-45 in overtime.
The Lions had a comfortable 42-39 lead with 8.1 seconds remaining in regulation, before Oak Park's Phil Gary buried a controversial three-pointer. One referee signaled that Gary's foot was on the line, thereby counting as a two-point shot and giving the victory to LT. After some very tense deliberation between the referees, however, the shot was ruled a three and both teams readied themselves for the four-minute overtime.
"I knew the shot was a three when I took it," Gary said. "It felt good right when I let it go and I knew my feet were behind the line. It feels really good to get the win today because we all worked hard as a team to make it happen."
In overtime, LT was clearly reeling from the Huskies' unbelievable comeback. Despite an early three from Grant Porter that gave his team a brief one-point lead, the Lions could not stave off OPRF's onslaught. One big reason behind the win was that Gary continued his clutch shooting in overtime, making all four of his free throws. OPRF's Jason Pontone and Lamont Sanders both added field goals to ensure the win.
Porter led LT with 12 points and three rebounds, followed by senior Mike Scavuzzo with nine points and six rebounds. Senior Nicholas Pavilonis added seven points and five rebounds.
The Lions recovered from the loss to edge Hinsdale Central 50-49 on Saturday, which put their conference record at 3-5. Lyons, who will host a regional in the playoffs, is now 11-8 overall. The team hosts Wheaton North in non-conference action on Saturday at 6 p.m.