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Jon Bonk’s layup with five seconds left in the game sealed a 65-64 nonconference win for visiting Nazareth over Aurora Central.
Aurora Central had just under five seconds to go the length of the court for the game-winning basket. Anthony Andujar was able to the ball across halfcourt and into the hands of Sean Harreld, who missed an attempt at the buzzer.
The Nazareth defense rotated to the junior guard when he first received the pass, but he got free with a dribble and had a look at the basket. It just didn’t go in this time.
“He (coach Nate Drye) drew it up and we executed it, but you’ve got to hit it,” said Harreld, who finished with seven points. “I just missed it.”
The Chargers had come back from eight points down in the third quarter, and a 19-5 run over the course of seven and a half minutes in the second half gave ACC a 56-50 lead with just over five minutes to play. Nazareth came back to tie the game and eventually the lead changed hands three times in the final minute as Phil Schuetz hit four free throws on the Chargers’ end, and Tim Kuckaillis (11 points) and Bonk each hit a pair for the Roadrunners.
But the difference came in the Chargers coming away empty on their last two possessions, as Zach Flint missed a free throw with 12 seconds to go that preceded Bonk’s layup.
Overall the Chargers shot the ball well, making 24 of their 52 attempts from the floor and 12 of 13 free throws, but the end of the game was a representation of the Chargers’ night as they battled with turnovers and some stretches of the game where they struggled to score.
“We shot ourselves in the foot, we were doing a nice job spreading it out and getting buckets, but then we had some turnovers down the stretch and took some bad shots to let them back in,” Drye said. “We could never get the separation we wanted. We didn’t make enough plays down the stretch to win the ballgame.”
Schuetz led the Chargers with a game-high 26 points, while Flint added nine.