AURORA – R.D. Lutze wasn’t sure what to do after Aurora Christian’s last-second, 60-57 win over Marmion on Friday night, but he had no such uncertainty when it mattered most.
With the score tied at 57 with 1.7 seconds to go, Lutze took a tipped Marmion inbounds pass and let fly a half-court heave that banked in to give the Eagles a miraculous regulation victory.
The Aurora Christian student section engulfed a stunned Lutze, who stood emotionless after making his first buzzer-beater since seventh grade. The sophomore was still unsure what to say about the shot after the game.
“I’m still stunned about it, it’s almost like a dream. As soon as I hit that I didn’t know what to do,” Lutze said. “I don’t even remember what I did. I just stood there asking myself what just happened. I’ve been shooting half-court shots in practice and I guess I just hit it today.”
Marmion (13-11, 4-3 SCC Blue) was down for most of the game before going on a 7-0 run over a two-minute span to take a 57-53 lead with 2:11 to go on a pair of Tyler Maryanski free throws. The Eagles (13-10, 5-3) were able to pull even at 57 after baskets from Johnathan Harrell and Wes Wolfe. Wolfe’s runner in the lane came with 1:05 to go, setting up what Marmion hoped would be the final shot of the game.
But an errant pass fell in Harrell’s hands with 48 seconds left, providing the Eagles a shot at a final possession. With the ball in Harrell’s hands, the senior drove and dished in the corner to Pat McNamara, who missed a 3-pointer that landed in Marmion’s hands with 1.7 seconds to go.
Out of a timeout, the Cadets were hoping the inbounds play would allow Maryanski to find Michael Sheehan for an open jump shot. As Marmion coach Ryan Paradise saw it, had Maryanski come up with the ball, Sheehan was open.
“We were actually trying to get the ball to Mike and had him wide open but they knocked the ball out of Tyler’s hands,” Paradise said. “I take from this that our guys competed in the second half and they just hit a good shot in the end. We have enough games left where we can get back on track.”
Marmion entered play on a four-game winning streak, dispatching each opponent by double figures. After leading early, the Cadets were forced to play catch-up for most of the second half, trailing by as much as eight points at the start of the third quarter.
With Aurora Christian leading 53-48 after a Harrell basket, Marmion got a three-point-play and a fall-away jumper in the lane from Jordan Glasgow that tied the game at 53 with 3:04 to go in the fourth quarter.
Maryanski scored the next four points to give Marmion its first lead since the first quarter before the Eagles eventually tied it to set up Lutze’s final shot.
Glasgow led all scorers with 20 points while Sheehan added 15. Harrell was high for Aurora Christian with 17 points while Lutze (13 points) and Wolfe (12) were both in double-figures for Aurora Christian.