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Warren's Shayne White tries to bring the ball up court with Mundelein's Dylan Delaquila guarding. | Mark Ukena~For Sun-Times Media
It would take a buzzer-beater to upstage the brief return of Mundelein star guard Robert Knar Saturday night.
That’s just what Warren got, as Arias Austin drilled a three-point shot as time expired to give the Blue Devils a thrilling 63-60 win over the Mustangs.
The game’s final 14 seconds were both frantic and, ultimately, jaw-dropping. With the scored tied at 60, Knar entered the game for Mundelein (12-9, 5-3). The 6-foot-1 senior and Northern Iowa recruit had not played all season, recovering from a knee injury suffered in the summer. Greeted by surprised screams from the Mustang crowd, Knar set up in the right wing.
“I was on cloud nine,” Knar said of his return, which was not planned. “I had no idea (I was going to play) until I got out there.”
When the action started, senior forward Sean O’Brien (19 points, seven rebounds) drove to the basket, dropping a pass to senior forward Chino Ebube (16 points). He hesitated slightly going up for a dunk, missed the shot, and was fouled. He missed the first free throw, then Knar sat back down.
Ebube also missed the second free throw and Warren took the ball with 6.4 seconds left. Senior Arthell Rosquist inbounded from underneath the Mundelein basket.
“Coach (Ryan Webber) called the out of bounds play. If you get it, go,” Austin said, who finished with 22 points. “I told Arthell ‘If you see me at any time, throw it. I’m going to break for the ball.’”
Austin caught the ball in stride, dribbled the length of the court, launching a shot just outside the three point line on the right side. It swished just as time ran out, giving Warren (12-9, 4-5) a much-needed victory and adding more intrigue to a tight North Suburban Conference race.
“Coach always tells us to have a clock in your head, how many dribbles you have,” Austin said of his buzzer-beater. “I’m glad we finally paid attention.”
Junior Adrian Deere scored 25 points to lead Warren.