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The La Salle-Peru boys basketball team brought everything it had to pull out a victory over Plainfield Central Tuesday night in non-conference action at L-P.
The Cavaliers were out-rebounded 3-to-1 (38-13), however, senior guard Noah Lamboley put the game in his hands late as he drove through the lane and hit a jumper with two Plainfield defenders in his face for the 61-60 victory.
L-P had to fight off a Wildcats team that featured three players 6-foot-6 or taller. The Cavaliers were out rebounded on the offensive glass 20-5, but with the help of nine 3-pointers, kept the lead throughout most of the night.
“We literally had a tall order against Plainfield tonight,” L-P coach Jim Cherveny said. “They are a very well-coached team and our guys just had to battle all night. I think they showed a lot of toughness out there. To get out-rebounded like that and lead most of the way and then hit the game winner at the buzzer says a lot for these guys.”
L-P led 49-47 heading into the fourth quarter and Lamboley opened with a 3-pointer right out of the quarter break to extend the lead to five.
The Wildcats charged back with the help of a pull-up jumper from Robbie Brooks, which tied the game at 53-53.
Just a few moments later, it was Brooks again with a layup to give Plainfield a 56-55 advantage.
Then it was the offensive rebounds again giving the Wildcats a chance to extend the lead to three points as Justin Windt hit another turnaround jumper in the lane after receiving a pass from an offensive rebounder.
The Cavaliers cut the deficit to a single point when Eric Milaicki hit both of his free throw attempts.
Plainfield missed a free throw attempt with a little less than 30 seconds left to give the Cavs another shot.
The Plainfield defense was all over the Cavs and forced Cherveny to take a timeout with 10 seconds left.
L-P got the ball in the hands of Lamboley, who dribbled through the Wildcats defense and into the lane to fire up a shot that bounced around the rim a couple times before falling in for the game winner.
“That was something else,” Cherveny said. “I know Noah gets credit for hitting the shot, but it was all five guys out there doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing in order for us to get the win.”
Lamboley had given the Cavs the lead early as he hit his first 3-point attempt of the game for a 3-0 lead.
A pass from Kaleb Jaske to Brady Hubbe for a bucket gave the Cavs a 7-4 lead. Plainfield Central missed six stick back opportunities, but still had an 11-9 lead until Huebbe’s stick back at the buzzer tied the game at 11-11.
L-P then used the long ball in the second quarter to take a 34-29 halftime lead. Milaicki hit one long-range shot and then Manny Pagan hit back-to-back shots behind the arc.
In the third quarter, Brooks hit a runner in the lane and then Christian Armstrong’s steal and layup gave the Wildcats their first lead since early in the contest at 44-43, but it didn’t last long as Logan Zeman gave the Cavs the lead right back with a 3-pointer.
From there it was back and forth until Lamboley’s buzzer beater gave the Cavs the victory.
Huebbe led all scorers with 16 points, followed by 15 from Lamboley. Logan Vasquez had 14 points for Plainfield Central and Brooks added 10.