A player with two made 3-pointers all season made one to get Janesville Parker within a point with 10 seconds left.
A teammate who had missed all five of his free-throw attempts this year made one to tie the game 5.5 seconds later.
And those two things were the second- and third-most bizarre moments of the final 10 seconds against Beloit Memorial on Thursday night.
The Vikings rallied from a four-point deficit to win their regular-season finale, 55-54, on sophomore Robert DeLong’s made technical-foul free throw with 0.4 seconds left. The technical came when a Purple Knights player called a timeout when his team was out of timeouts.
“I couldn’t even make this up. This is the stuff you dream about,” said Parker senior Tremar Curry, who scored a game-high 23 points to help the Vikings win back-to-back games heading into the postseason. “We’ve been working so hard to make a make a name for ourselves, not be last and just get every little thing we can out of this season.
“This is crazy.”
The wild finish put a stamp on a game that featured 11 lead changes and eight ties.
Beloit (3-19, 2-16) led 53-46 after Parker’s bench was whistled for a technical foul with 1:52 remaining.
But Curry and fellow senior Brody Lippens produced consecutive driving layups to get within three, 53-50.
Beloit made one of two free throws with 20.7 seconds left to go back up by two possessions.
Parker sophomore Matthew Hartwig, who had made two 3-pointers in 21 games this year, buried one with 10 seconds left.
“Down the stretch, our guys were really motivated,” Parker coach Matt Bredesen said.
“They didn’t want to lose on Senior Night, and there was no quit in them.”
Parker (4-18, 2-16) quickly fouled, and the Purple Knights missed both ensuing free throws. Lippens corralled the rebound and was bumped in front of the Beloit bench as he attempted to pass the ball.
Lippens, known more for his prowess on the track and the football field, was in the game because two Parker starters had fouled out. He was 0 of 5 from the line on the season when he stepped to the stripe for a one-and-one situation.
“That was scary,” Lippens said. “Completely nerve-racking.”
And yet he made the first attempt to tie the game at 54 with 4.5 ticks left.
“We’ve come a long way, especially here at the end,” Lippens said. “We all accept our roles. We’ve been practicing a lot harder, and we’re playing harder. We never give up.”
Beloit called its final timeout to ice Lippens before his second attempt. It worked, and the Knights snared the rebound in traffic. Seeing little room for a long-distance, buzzer-beating shot attempt, a Beloit player called timeout.
The Knights were issued a technical foul, and DeLong went to the line with all eyes on him and just four-tenths of a second on the clock.
“I had the confidence to knock it down and just trusted my shot,” DeLong said. “We were just telling each other not to give up. We’ve been wanting this for a long time.”
Curry made four of the Vikings’ six 3-pointers, including three early in the second half to keep his team alive after it gave up a 9-0 run to open the half. Hartwig finished with nine points for Parker.
Amariah Cook led Beloit with 16 points, while Terrell Ringer added 12 and Markai Payne 11.
Parker opens WIAA postseason play Tuesday night at Kenosha Tremper. Bolstered by their improbable victory, the Vikings will attempt to win three games in a row for the first time since December 2010.
PARKER 55, BELOIT 54
Beloit (54)—Ringer 5-2-12, Payne 4-3-11, Cook 7-2-16, Bell 2-1-5, Bach 1-0-2, Ganiyu 0-3-3, Boyd 1-0-2, Freeman 1-0-3. Totals: 21-11-54.
Parker (55)—Dahlke 3-0-6, Lippens 1-1-3, DeLong 1-3-6, Biba 3-2-8, Curry 7-5-23, Hartwig 3-2-9. Totals: 18-13-55.
Beloit Memorial 24 30—54
Janesville Parker 25 30—55
3-point goals—Beloit 1 (Freeman), Parker 6 (Curry 4, DeLong, Hartwig). Free throws missed—Beloit 13, Parker 8. Total fouls—Beloit 19, Parker 23. Fouled out—Dahlke, Biba.