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St. Edward sophomore Nick Duffy drives to the basket against Chicago Christian on Friday in Elgin. | Michael Jarecki ~ For Sun-Times Media
St. Edward lacked nerves of steel at the foul line late in Friday night’s wild Suburban Christian Gold battle in Elgin with Chicago Christian, but defensively the Green Wave put up a steel curtain.
Junior guard Antonio Domel snuck up from behind and stole the ball from Chicago Christian’s Dylan Slager with seven seconds left in a one-point overtime game, then teammate John Butzow iced it with two foul shots with 2.7 seconds remaining to give St. Edward its 10th win in 12 games, 63-60.
“We went up and we went down, and our kids never quit,” St. Edward coach P.J. White said. “They never stopped playing hard.”
Devontae Elam missed two free throws with 11.8 seconds left and the Green Wave up 61-60 and Chicago Christian’s center Brendon Wolinski came down with the ball, but St. Edward’s defense swarmed all over him under the hoop for a tie-up.
The possession arrow went to Chicago Christian (4-4, 0-2), and after a timeout Slager got the ball and dribbled up the sideline. But Domel snuck up behind, got his hand in, tipped it forward and then recovered it. His pass to Butzow forced Chicago Christian to foul, and after the two foul shots made it 63-60, St. Edward’s defense wouldn’t allow anything more in the final 2.7 seconds than an off-balance, errant heave wide of the mark.
“You could tell he (Slager) wasn’t the best dribbler, so you’ve just got to run with him and tip it loose,” Domel said. “I just tipped it and collected it as soon as I could and got rid of it.”
In a game that featured 15 lead changes, St. Edward (10-2, 3-1) went ahead for good at the start of overtime as 6-foot-4 sophomore forward Nick Duffy got inside right away for a layup and a 56-54 lead. Elam slashed to the basket after a missed Chicago Christian shot, and Duffy got inside for another overtime hoop for a 60-56 lead with 1:45 left in the game.
“What we talked about at the end of the game and end of the third quarter was the way we could beat this team was inside,” White said. “We couldn’t get the ball inside in the first half. What we said was we think we’re in better shape — I don’t know if we are or not — we think we are and we think that we can wear them down now by starting to get the ball inside.”
Butzow hit 1-of-2 free throws with 1:01 left, but Chicago Christian’s Kaleb DeJager got inside for a bucket to make it 61-60 and set up the wild last few seconds.
St. Edward’s Adrian Ponce, who had 12 points, worked an alley-oop for a lay-in with 1:45 left in regulation to knot the score at 52. Elam, who had 11 points, hit 1-of-2 free throws after Chicago Christian scoring leader Corey Bulthuis, who had 26 points, gave his team a 54-53 lead on a driving layup.
The Green Wave had a chance to win it with 4.1 seconds left when Ponce got fouled on the alley oop again, but he made just the tying free throw and missed the second to force OT.
“This is crazy,” Domel said. “Last year we had 11 wins, and we have 10 already now. That’s really cool, and it’s before Christmas, too.
“These games are good for us because we’re inexperienced and these kind of games build you up and prepare you for regional tournaments and state, too.”
ST. EDWARD 63, CHICAGO CHRISTIAN 60 (OT)
Chicago Christian (4-4, 0-2)
Corey Bulthis 10 3-4 26, Dylan Slager 2 1-5 5, Zach Bulthuis 1 0-0 2, Kaleb Dejager 1 0-0 2, Brenden Wolinski 6 6-7 19, Blaine Wright 2 1-2 6. Totals 22 11-20 60.
St. Edward (10-2, 3-1)
Antonio Domel 4 1-2 11, John Butzow 2 3-5 7, Nick Duffy 7 4-5 18, Devontae Elam 4 3-8 11, Danny Favela 2 -0-2 4, Adrian Ponce 4 4-5 12. Totals 23 15-27 63.
Chicago Christian 8 10 11 11 6 -- 60
St. Edward 11 19 16 8 9 -- 63
Three-point field goals: Chicago Christian (5) -- C. Bulthuis 3, Wulinski 1, Wright 1. St. Edward (2) -- Domel 2.