Masterson hits late 3 to lift Parkview over Big Foot
ORFORDVILLE--Christian Hobson's message to Nolan Masterson was simple and to the point. With less than 10 seconds left, it needed to be.
Orfordville Parkview sophomore Hunter Case corralled a rebound off a missed free throw and found Hobson, his senior teammate, with an outlet pass. Hobson turned toward Masterson and delivered the message and the ball to his junior teammate up the left wing.
Masterson buried a 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left, delivering a final dagger to a sloppy-yet-thrilling Rock Valley South Conference boys basketball game on Thursday night.
“Hunter grabbed the rebound, and from there I knew it was going to be a good ending,” Masterson said. “Christian looked over at me and said, 'Hit it,' and tossed it over. And it somehow fell.”
It was no fluke, as Masterson hit four of his six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter on his way to a game-high 20 points.
“He's sure of himself when it comes to shooting the ball from behind the 3-point line,” Parkview coach Boyce Hodge said of the guard who went 6-for-11 from long range. “He enjoys doing that more than anything else.”
The Vikings improved to 7-11 overall and 6-7 in the South, hanging on to first place in the league standings without leading scorer Garrett Reinhardt. They also won despite making just one basket in the first quarter and one in the third.
Big Foot fell a game back at 4-7. Elsewhere, Clinton beat visiting Turner to help the Cougars remain in a virtual tie with Parkview at 5-6.
The game always felt as though it would come down to the final possessions, with both teams simply struggling to survive.
The Chiefs and Vikings combined to turn the ball over 22 times in the first half. Missed layups piled up too quickly to keep an exact total. And the teams went just 3-for-16 from the free-throw line.
At one point, Big Foot coach Mike Dowden pointed to the rim and implored his team to put the ball “inside the orange thing.”
“I think both teams, early on, just played to stay in the game more than to try to win the game,” Dowden said. “We didn't shoot layups well and were 2-for-10 from the free-throw line. On their side, they didn't shoot well outside of (Masterson).
“But it's a tough one to swallow.”
The Chiefs led 23-22 after three quarters and the teams went back and forth in the fourth until it was tied at 33 with a minute to go. There, Big Foot found forward Nico Tovar inside for a bucket despite being fouled. He missed the ensuing free throw, but the Chiefs grabbed the loose rebound and went back to the stripe.
But they missed on both ends, and Parkview had its chance to tie or take a lead. Instead, Hobson's driving shot was off the mark and Parkview was forced to foul.
Once again, the charity stripe was unkind, and all that was left was for Masterson to “hit it.”
When he did, Big Foot called timeout, but it turned the ball over on the ensuing possession and later missed a three-quarter court heave at the buzzer.
“With Garrett out, everybody had to do their part and step up,” Masterson said. “We had to show what we could really do as a team, and I think we came out and did it.”