Sean Gallery's clutch free-throws finish insane 2020-21 Maine South Hawks season in style
Last updated 3/13/2021 at 11:42am
Maine South played 11 games in the last 15 days and have played 23 games overall in the 36 days of the season.
After the most physically demanding high school basketball schedule in IHSA state history, Maine South senior Sean Gallery stood at the free throw line.
Thirteen seconds remained in the Hawks' (13-10) season-ending finale with St. Viator (6-5) with the two teams deadlocked at 53-53.
Gallery knocked down both charity tosses and a last second desperation shot by St. Viator went wide and the physically-drained Hawks prevailed 55-53.
"I have really been struggling at the free-throw line as of late," Gallery said. "With us losing our last four games, I had to make the shots."
He did a lot more than that.
Gallery scored a game-high 22 points, hauled down seven rebounds and handed out four assists.
Maine South's 6-foot-6 senior double-double machine Marko Anderson got another one on Friday night.
Anderson scored 15 points and hauled down 11 rebounds, for the double double. Anderson was a human eraser, blocking six Lions shots.
The 6-foot-4 Hawks senior sharpshooter Nikola Zelenovic (12 points) buried four more from beyond the arc to help the Hawks.
"I just keep shooting," Zelenovic said. "Fortunately they were going down."
Maine South 6-foot-6 senior Milan Adamovic (six points), opened up on the Lions in the first quarter, burying a pair of three-pointers, to give the Hawks a 16-13 first-quarter lead.
Anderson stuffed the stat sheet in the second quarter. Anderson scored eight points, rejected four Lion shots and hauled down six rebounds to lead the Hawks to a 29-26 first-half lead.
Zelenovic unleashed his patented all-out air assault on the Lions in the third quarter. The long-range sniper buried three from downtown to give the Hawks a 45-40 lead entering the fourth quarter.
St. Viator's Aidan Harrington (18 points) buried his fourth three-pointer of the game and two free-throws from Lions' senior Nate Kochera (seven points) tied the game at 45 with 5:14 to go.
Gallery gave the Hawks a 47-45 lead and a 51-48 leads with a pair of baskets and with two minutes remaining in regulation.
With 23 seconds left Harrington tied the game at 53 with a bucket. Ten seconds later Gallery won it for the Hawks.
"It was very important for us to win our final game here at home," Gallery concluded. "We are all physically wore out from 11 games in 15 days."
"It was a very demanding season," Anderson added. "We played well and I also am very happy to close out my career here at home with a win. In a normal season only the state champion and third place winner can claim they won their last game of the season. We just accomplished that tonight."
"I was afraid of COVID shutting us down during some part of the season," Maine South coach Tony Lavorato said. "That is why I scheduled so many games and then what we feared did not happen. Game after game with no needed practices and it hurt us.
"Tonight we just beat a St. Viator team that beat Notre Dame and Marian Catholic. They play in a very good conference but so do we. It was a great win to end our season. I am proud of this group for what we accomplished in this insane season."