BUFFALO GROVE — Despite having an 11-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter Thursday, the Buffalo Grove girls basketball team hung on in overtime to win its own Class 4A regional 44-43 over Prospect.
"That was an exciting basketball game," Buffalo Grove coach Stephen Kolodziej said. "That's what we thought would happen, a very close game."
The victorious Bison will face Fremd in the Barrington Sectional semifinals Tuesday at 8 p.m.
With the score tied at 41-41 in overtime against Prospect, Buffalo Grove's Maddy Callahan sank two free throws with 1:19 left and then added another to give the Bison a 44-41 advantage. Prospect's Taylor Will converted a close-range shot to bring her team to within 44-43 at the 49-second mark. After both teams missed free throws, Will tried the game-winning shot from inside the lane with three seconds remaining. It bounced off the rim, and the rebound was grabbed by the Knights' Mallory Gonzalez (nine points), who narrowly missed a 7-footer at the buzzer.
"They've [the Bison] had a nice lift in the postseason. You have to give them credit for that," Prospect coach Ashley Graham said. "But this doesn't in any way take away from the year we had."
Buffalo Grove (15-15), a No. 11 seed, held a 31-20 lead seconds into the final period. But Prospect (23-6), the No. 3 seed, stormed back behind Will, who scored 11 of her team-high 25 points in the final stanza. Trailing 39-37, Will sent the game into the four-minute extra session, converting two free throws with 23 seconds left.
Callahan finished with 25 points (two 3-pointers) and 12 rebounds.
"It was so exciting. I'm overwhelmed," Callahan said.