Neuqua Valley boys basketball uses extra time to win the Wheeling Hardwood Classic

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Holiday tournament play wraps up with Neuqua Valley taking the court in the 45th Wheeling Hardwood Classic Championship. The Wildcats take on Glenbrook North, who’s back in the championship game for a third straight year. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

The Wildcats jump out to a 6-2 lead, and that increases to 9-2 because nobody sees Luke Kinkade and he just sinks the open three. 

Spartans are hoping to get something cooking with Patrick Schaller, who lays it in below the rim.

Neuqua continues its strong start in the second quarter with Colin Gerrity dribbling through the painted area and gets the bucket off the glass.

Glenbrook North catches fire in the second quarter

Glenbrook North catches fire with Sam Lappin, who easily pulls up for three and hits it. 

Then Lappin does nearly the same thing but this one is for a long two and that gives the Spartans a 14-13 lead. 

Shots keep falling for the team in green. Ryan Weil catches and quickly shoots for three and that caps off a 19-4 run to extend Glenbroook North’s lead to 25-17.

John Bieber brings some heat of his own

The Wildcats finally put a stop to it with Ryan Bieber who takes a three and drains it to pull Neuqua back within five.

Bieber remains hot from behind the line, and with halftime approaching so he takes aim from the wing and hits it to beat the buzzer. The Wildcats trail 27-24 at the break.

The Spartans respond to the swing with Lappin who steals the ball and cruises his way to the rim to make it 31-27 in their favor. 

Things keep going the way of the Spartans and Schaller hooks one through the net to keep them up by four.

Colin Gerrity gets everyone ready for a wild fourth

Then Colin Gerrity has a man in face but still splashes in the trifecta and the cats are down by one as we head to the fourth. 

In the fourth quarter, Josh Fridman jumps in on the scoring by scoring another bucket and the Spartans hold their largest lead of the contest up 50-41. 

The Wildcats still find a way to claw back in it. Kinkade grabs the Joe Balgro miss so he tries for a putback himself and then Balgro comes for the rebound, putback and one. The three-point play cuts it down to a three-point game.

The Cats trail 50-48 and then Bieber comes up big again with a reverse lay in to even the score at 50.

Spartans hold for the last shot, but Fridman takes too many steps, and Neuqua gets the ball. Although the Cats can’t get a shot off to beat the buzzer so let’s go to overtime.

Wildcats take the lead back in overtime

Both teams exchange buckets and then Luke Kinkade runs by the defense and lays it in to give the Wildcats their first lead since the opening quarter at 54-52.

A couple of free throws has Neuqua Vaklley up by four and Fridman continues his strong game by dropping two of his 19 game points to get it back to a two-point game. 

Neuqua Valley boys basketball wins the Wheeling Hardwood Classic

Kinkade comes up big, scoring 25 in the game and these freebies help put Neuqua back up by four. So the Spartans have to go quickly and Schaller is there getting the miss and board to make it a 59-57 but the Wildcats are able to milk off the final five seconds and win the the Wheeling Hardwood Classic after a thrilling victory. The Wildcats will resume conference play on January 5th against rival Waubonsie Valley in what should be another exciting matchup.

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