Glenbard West edges Lincoln-Way East for state title

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Glenbard West edges Lincoln-Way East for state title

By Bill Harrison
Season Pass

CHAMPAIGN Glenbard West defensive back Hayden Carlson said he never hit anybody as hard in his life as he did late in the Class 7A state title against Lincoln-Way East late in the fourth quarter.

He had good reason to sacrifice his body.

On a fourth-and-10 attempt by Lincoln-Way East on the Hilltoppers 13-yard line, the junior defensive back recorded the play of the game when he flipped quarterback Tom Fuessel, three yards short of the first down.

That gave the Hilltoppers the ball back with 1:50 left, and they held on for a 10-8 win for the first state title in program history.

I knew I had to make that play or we can eventually lose the state championship, Carlson said. I felt it afterward, my shoulder was killing me but I still had to get back out there for the final series.

Following Carlsons hit, the Hilltoppers (14-0), leading 10-6, faced a fourth-and-3 from their 13-yard line and opted to take an intentional safety instead of punting. A free kick went out of bounds and set up Lincoln-Way East at the Glenbard West 45-yard line with 23 seconds to play.

But Fuessel, still shaken up by the Carlson hit, wasnt close on a pass attempt before being sacked by Nathan Marcus on second down. Fuessel managed to spike the ball with one second remaining, but appeared confused and dazed and was replaced for the last play by cousin Brett Fuessel, who was tackled by Ruben Dunbar trying to scramble out of a heavy rush to end the game.

I dont even remember the hit, said Tom Fuessel, who appeared shaken at the post-game press conference.

The Hilltoppers defense set the tone from the start of the game, holding the Griffins (13-1) to 44 total yards of offense in the first half. No small feat considering Lincoln-Way East produced two 1,000 yard rushers this season.

Glenbard Wests offense struck with 2:30 left in the first quarter on a 25-yard pass from quarterback Henry Haeffner to Marcus for a 7-0 lead. The Hilltoppers increased their advantage to 10-0 with 40 seconds left in the frame on a 27-yard Hayden Lekacz field goal.

A 35-yard run by Justin Corbett pulled the Griffins within 10-6. But a missed extra point would change the strategy of the game, contributing to the Griffins attempting to convert on fourth-and-10 instead of a going for a game-tying field goal.

If were the best defense in the state, Lincoln-Way East is the second best, Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said.

Morning Update: Dwyane Wade comes up clutch in close win vs. Kings

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AP

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Dwyane Wade gets a little help but saves the day defensively vs. Kings

Dwyane Wade gets a little help but saves the day defensively vs. Kings

It was a gift and the Bulls weren't going to look it in the mouth as Dwyane Wade was poised to finish off another one of his sterling defensive plays with a breakaway dunk with the game tied and Arron Afflalo and DeMarcus Cousins trailing.

Lightly touched by the small of his back by Cousins, Wade miscalculated his liftoff and missed the dunk but was bailed out by the refs for a foul with 14 seconds left.

Then, he bailed the Bulls out.

Wade had his fifth fourth-quarter defensive play, stripping Cousins on a steal on the ensuing possession with the Sacramento Kings having a chance to win, leading to a Michael Carter-Williams dunk and finishing a 102-99 win Saturday night at the United Center.

It was a clock-turning performance for Wade on both ends of the floor, even if his missed dunk is a reminder that he is 35 years old. But putting up 30 with six rebounds and four assists on the second night of a back-to-back is proof positive he took Friday's loss to Atlanta personally and used his play to back up those feelings.

He scored 13 in the fourth, along with the last of his four blocked shots and all three of his steals took place in the final 12.

Cousins dominated the game with 42 and 14 rebounds in 35 minutes, the only Kings player in double figures all night.

Back-to-back triples from Cousins gave him 40 and tied the game at 97, as a third one rimmed out with a little under two minutes left.

Cousins dominated the start of the third quarter, hitting midrange jumpers over Robin Lopez and taunting the Bulls bench after hitting a jumper to put the Kings ahead, 70-63 midway through the third.

It looked like the worst was over when the Bulls made a short run to end the third, surviving the onslaught from Cousins — and surviving their own experimenting as the Paul Zipser played heavy minutes and even finished out the game on the floor.

Zipser scored 13 and Nikola Mirotic scored 11 off the bench, with Jimmy Butler scoring 23 with seven assists and five rebounds in 39 minutes.