Lansing senior Tyler Winslow made three of four free throws in the final minute and the Bobcats survived a last-second layup attempt by Whitney Point to pull out a 46-44 victory in the Interscholastic Athletic Conference Large North Division tiebreaker Tuesday night.
The win puts the Bobcats (12-4 overall) into the IAC Large School final against Elmira Notre Dame (16-1), champion of the Large South. That game begins at 8 p.m. Friday at Tompkins Cortland Community College, following the girls Large School final between Lansing (15-2) and Waverly (16-1), slated for 6.
Sophomore Zach Detrick led Lansing with 12 points, including a long 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter to put the visitors ahead, 37-33. The Eagles battled back to take a two-point lead on 3-pointer from junior Zach Marsh, who led all scorers with 22 points, 16 of them after halftime. Eagles leading scorer Gabe Shrauger finished with 16 points.
Lansing tied the game at 40 on a short jumper from 6-6 senior Thomas Towner (7 points) and took the lead for good when 6-6 senior Ben Rourke (10 points) put back a missed free throw by Winslow with less than two minutes to play.
Tuesday’s game was the rubber game in the season series between the Bobcats and Eagles, with the teams each winning on their home court.
Neither team led by more than four points Tuesday, with the Eagles taking their largest lead, 20-16, on a Marsh 3 late in the second quarter. Lansing fought back to take a 21-20 lead but the Eagles went into the locker room with a one-point lead when junior Connor Kallfelz beat the buzzer with an over-the-head tip-in of a missed 3-pointer.
Lansing outscored Whitney Point, 10-9, in the third to send the game into the final eight minutes tied at 31. Marsh scored all but one of the Eagles’ points in the third.
Sophomores Ben Kutler and Detrick nailed back-to-back treys to start the fourth, but Marsh kept the home team close with a short turnaround jumper and the second of his three treys on the night.
Marsh’s final 3 drew the home team to within 45-44 with eight seconds to play. After an Eagles timeout, Winslow was fouled and hit one of two free throws. Whitney Point brought the ball quickly upcourt and got the ball to senior guard Donovan Sturdevant, whose buzzer-beating layup bounced hard off the backboard and dribbled off the rim.
Neither team shot the ball well from the foul line — the Bobcats made 11 of 27, while WP was 5-for-14.
Whitney Point was seeking its second straight berth in the Large School final; it lost to Watkins Glen, 68-66, in last year’s title game.