With nine seconds left to play and Gordon Tech trailing Waubonsie Valley by a point, Rams freshman guard Octavius Parker launched a three-point shot from at least two feet behind the arc.
Gordon Tech coach Tom Kleinschmidt didn’t even flinch as Parker’s rainmaker from just in front of the Rams’ bench found its target to give Gordon Tech a 48-46 win Thursday in the first round of York’s 40th annual Jack Tosh Holiday Classic.
“We have three freshmen in our top six: Matt Tonkel, Octavius Parker and Michael Johnson,” Kleinschmidt said. “Octavius comes off the bench and he’s our leading scorer in the Catholic League. We have one senior on the team, two juniors that can play but aren’t seasoned, and everybody else is young.”
Parker downplayed the first game-winning shot of his varsity career.
“It was mostly my teammates,” Parker said. “They got me open and I’m glad it worked out. We have a lot of freshmen, sophomores and juniors and coach has confidence in us.”
The Rams (7-3) remain in the winner’s bracket and will face Lake Forest on Friday. Waubonsie Valley (5-6) takes on Ridgewood in consolation bracket play.
Parker had 12 points for Gordon Tech and big man Raequan Williams had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the win, while Matt Gialamas paced Waubonsie with 17 points and three steals.
The Rams led 32-25 at halftime but a trey from Gialamas to end the third had Waubonsie up 42-39 after three quarters.
A Williams free throw gave the Rams a 45-44 lead with 2:30 left to play and Gordon Tech defended well until Nick Karkazis found Gialamas cutting to the basket with 27 seconds left to give Waubonsie a 46-45 lead.
Parker’s dagger followed to end a quality game from start to finish.
“It was a great game,” Kleinschmidt said. “[Waubonsie coach Chaz Taft] and I are friends and it’s a tough one because we know each other so well. We didn’t play great defensively. [Taft] knows we switch, he got some mismatches in the post, and they did a nice job but in the last three minutes we needed to get stops and we got stops, so credit to our kids.”