BROOKFIELD - The Niles McKinley Red Dragons put a twist on the golf adage that you drive for show and putt for dough.
The Dragons unveiled a long-range shooting show in the second half that resulted in seven successful 3-point shots, but when it was time to cash in late in overtime they went inside for a game-winning layup.
Cameron Kane delivered on a drive down the left side of the lane to score the only points in the extra session, giving the Dragons a 60-58 win over the host Brookfield Warriors Friday night.
Tribune Chronicle / Dave Dermer
Niles’ James Tate, left, dribbles the ball around Brookfield’s Caleb Hunkus on his way to the basket during the first half of their game Friday night. Niles won, 60-58, in overtime.
"The play we ran was for me to isolate it," said Kane, who scored a game-high 22 points. "I looked up and saw about five seconds on the clock, so I had to go."
The Dragons (4-2) wouldn't have had an opportunity for the win if not for some magic late in the fourth quarter. Trailing 58-54 with less than 30 seconds on the clock, the Dragons moved to within one point of a tie on a 3-point shot by James Tate. After a pair of missed free throws by the Warriors (4-2), the Dragons had a chance to either tie the score or win when Marcus Hill was fouled on a drive to the basket with 2.6 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Hill missed the first free throw. After waiting through a timeout, Hill made the second foul shot to send the game into overtime.
"We've been shooting free throws pretty well this year," Dragons coach Ron Price said. "I have to give him a lot of guts for making that second one. It's tough with a hostile crowd like this. I just teased him. I said, 'We could have been on the bus a little while ago if you had made that first one.' "
The Dragons weren't thinking two-pointers coming out of the locker room trailing 32-21 at halftime. To get back into the game they needed to rely on their 3-point skills. Tate, who scored 18 points, made three of his five 3-point shots in the second half. Kane had three in the third quarter, and Muhammed Salaam made one from beyond the arc in the third period.
The shooting barrage enabled the Dragons to reduce their deficit to 44-38 entering the final quarter. Niles tied the score at 49-49 with 4:49 remaining in the period, but fell behind by as many as five points down the stretch.
It was a tough loss to take for the Warriors, who saw their record fall to 4-2. Coach Bill Kovach couldn't have asked for much more of the Warriors in the first half. They controlled the boards, moved the ball well on offense and outhustled the Dragons to lead 17-9 after the first quarter and by 11 at the half.
"We were really pleased," Kovach said of the first half. "We stressed that we couldn't quit because they weren't going to quit. We've struggled with pressure. We got better tonight, but we didn't get better for an entire game. If we manage to do that, we're going to be okay."
Kane opened the third quarter with two quick 3-pointers. After a fielder by Jamar Tarver of the Warriors, Tate made a 3-pointer to cut the Brookfield lead to 34-30. The Warriors led 44-38 at the end of the session.
"Coach told us at halftime to keep shooting and we'll get our way out of it," Kane said. "They were going in."
Kovach knew what was coming in the second half.
"They shoot 3s; that's what they do," Kovach said. "When they're hitting 3s, they can be back in the game in five minutes."
Caleb Hunkus led the Warriors in scoring with 14 points. Tarver had 13 and Seth Wallace finished with 11.