Central battles back, beats Payson on late bucket

Posted: Jan. 16, 2013 4:38 am Updated: Feb. 6, 2013 5:15 am

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

CAMP POINT, Ill. -- The Central boys basketball team trailed for the majority of Tuesday's contest against Payson Seymour, but the Panthers took the lead when it mattered most.

Central sophomore Taylor Heimann netted two of his team-high 11 points with 2.3 seconds left in the game, when he scored a layup that secured a 32-30 West Central Conference South Division win for the Panthers.

"We just needed to do a pick and roll," Heimann said. "I had to roll off of it, and (I) just laid it in there."

Central's game plan was simple: Shut down Payson's two scoring threats, junior Cody Hildebrand and senior Jake Voss. The Panthers did just that, limiting Hildebrand and Voss to eight and two points, respectively.

"We wanted to stay home on their shooters, Voss and Hildebrand," Central coach Todd Plattner said. "The big key was make sure when they did shoot, they only get one shot."

With Hildebrand and Voss having an off night offensively, junior Lance Buhlig stepped up for the Indians. Buhlig had the shot of the night when he made a first quarter buzzer-beater from the volleyball line. Like the Indians (13-4), Buhlig struggled in the fourth quarter. He scored all of his 15 points in the first three quarters.

"We tried to move the ball and did it early," Buhlig said. "Then we fell apart."

With six minutes to play, Payson led 26-22. Central junior Cole Philips made a 3-pointer that brought the Panthers (9-12) within one.

After Payson sophomore Hunter Flesner made two free throws to extend the Indians' lead to 30-27, Heimann responded with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 30 with 2:25 to play. Payson held the ball for just more two minutes before Hildebrand took a jumper that missed, and Central rebounded the ball with 13 seconds to play. After a timeout, Central made no mistakes on the final play. Senior Douglas Weese found a wide-open Heimann, who finished the layup.

"It's a dribble pick-and-roll," Plattner said. "Douglas is supposed to read the defense, and he made a good pass to Taylor, and Taylor finished."


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