Kaiden Ross’s buzzer beater gives Lincoln-Way East boys basketball the regional title over Neuqua Valley

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Lincoln-Way East boys basketball knocks off the Neuqua Valley Wildcats after Kaiden Ross sinks a three at the buzzer. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

We’re back at East Aurora for a regional championship matchup between the Neuqua Valley Wildcats and Lincoln-Way East Griffins. The winner of this game will move on to challenge Joliet West in the sectional semifinals.

Lincoln-Way East with the advantage early

In the first quarter, Lincoln-Way East gets the stop and they’re off to the races. The ball finds the hands of BJ Powell and he tosses it up to George Bellevue for the finish at the rim. The Griffins have a 15-5 lead.

In the closing moments of the first, Joe Balgro swings it over to Vova Polishchuk in the corner and he knocks down the three-ball. That cuts it to seven to end the quarter.

On to the second quarter, Chris Srbinov spins towards the lane, absorbs the contact, and sinks the short-range shot. Neuqua down 17-13.

On the other end, Matt Hudik penetrates to the baseline, Kyle Olagbegi swings it to Powell and he drains the shot from well beyond the arc. Lincoln-Way East now up eight.

Neuqua Valley makes up some ground

In the second half, Olagbegi jumps in front of the pass, throws a slick bounce pass ahead to George Bellevue and he throws it down for two. Griffins up 26-19.

Moments later, Olagbegi drives baseline, avoids multiple Wildcats and finishes at the rim. It’s now a nine-point lead.

With under two minutes left in the quarter, Joel Zechariah comes off the double screen and drains the three-pointer to cut the lead down to 31-26.

With time dwindling in the third, Luke Kinkade takes two dribbles and calmly knocks down the pull up jumper. They trail by two going into the fourth.

A wild finish

Just a minute into the fourth, it’s Zechariah again from downtown and this one’s nothing but net. Neuqua Valley takes its first lead since the first quarter.

Now with under five minutes to play, Olagbegi drives and kicks it out to Brenden Sanders and he drills the corner three. This one ties the game up at 40.

Wildcats with the ball. Nick Lendino catches it in the middle then finds Luke Kinkade behind the arc and he knocks it down. Neuqua goes up three with two minutes left.

After free throws, the Griffins have the ball down one with 20 seconds to play. Powell drives to the lane, dumps it off to Olagbegi, he corrals it, then rises up and puts in the go-ahead bucket. They go up by one with nine seconds to go.

On the other end, the Wildcats have five seconds to look for a shot. Lendino takes the inbound and fires the jumper, it bounces out, but Chris Srbinov is there for the putback. Neuqua reclaims the lead 48-47 and leaves Lincoln-Way East with just 1.7 seconds to work with.

The Griffins have to go the length of the court. Bellevue slings it to Olagbegi at half-court who tosses it ahead to Kaiden Ross who fires it away and it’s good! The officials count the basket and Ross gets swarmed by his teammates, celebrating a regional title. They’ll face Joliet West in the sectional semis.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!