It’s the dream of every high school basketball senior across the State of Indiana. Six seconds left on the clock, your team down by one point in sectionals, and your team draws up the game-winning shot for you to take.
On Tuesday night, on the opening night of Sectional 10 to the dismay of Warren Central, Lawrence Central Senior Alan Willis got to live out that dream.
“Me and DaVonte (Harris) were up setting screens,” said Willis.
“It was elbow picks, and we set a screen, and I came through. It came to my dominant hand, which is what he wanted me to do. I came through, ripped through, and I had to stutter-step a little bit because Devin Davis is kind of long. I just had to get it up high off that backboard, and that’s what I did, I hit the shot.”
Willis went the full length of the court on an in-bounds pass to hit running jumper as time expired to put the Bears (10-10) over Warren Central (11-9) by the final of 44-43 on the Warriors home-court.
“This is Indiana high school basketball,” said Bears Head Coach JR Shelt.
“We always preach that every possession counts, and that is what we talk about to every player about every possession before the game. Devin Davis hit a great shot but they left one-second left on the clock, and Alan Willis came up huge. I love my seniors. They have been carrying this team and they wouldn’t let this team quit. I am so proud of those guys.”
Willis (14 points) had the chance to be the hero of the night thanks to Warren Central Senior Devin Davis, who scored two of his 16 points on a nice baseline drive that split two defenders and ended with a near impossible up-and-under that put Warren Central up at 43-42. The Warriors left just a little bit too much time on the clock though, giving Willis the chance for his last-second heroics.
The Bears had trailed 35-29 heading into the fourth quarter, but key shots from Willis and fellow Senior DaVonte Harris (16 points) eventually allowed Lawrence Central to sneak back into the game. With the victory, the Bears will face-off against Arsenal Tech (20-4) Friday night at 6:00 p.m.
In the second game of the night, the Cathedral Fighting Irish (20-5) knocked off Lawrence North (16-6) by the final of 64-59. Cathedral dominated most of the game, led by Senior Jalen Coleman’s 18 points, as the Fighting Irish led 43-20 at the half.
Eventually Lawrence North stormed back though, cutting the deficit to as close as three points, before Cathedral ultimately held on for the victory. With the victory Cathedral will play Roncalli at 7:30.