ZIONSVILLE — Riley Bertram was just about to let loose from the left wing at the end of overtime when he saw Jarron Bond’s left arm swipe over the top of his head. Bertram, a Zionsville junior, hesitated slightly in mid-air and let it set sail toward the rim.
“It was straight,” Bertram said, “but I wasn’t too sure about it.”
The ball rattled from front to back a couple times and fell through. The result was a wild 73-72 Zionsville win over visiting Hoosier Crossroads Conference rival Hamilton Southeastern on Friday night, setting off a court-storming by the Zionsville students as Bertram raced to the opposite end of the court.
The Zionsville win was a measure of revenge after HSE’s Zach Gunn rattled home a 3-pointer in nearly identical fashion last year in the Royals’ 48-47 win.
“It as karma,” Zionsville coach Shaun Busick said. “We deserved that.”
Even Gunn, the 6-6 HSE senior who carried the Royals with a game-high 25 points, found some levity in the loss. Busick, with his arms raised after Bertram’s last-second game-winner, found himself in the same vicinity with Gunn right after the buzzer.
“Man, just like last year,” Gunn said to Busick.
With the win, Zionsville (10-3, 3-0) takes a one-game lead over HSE (12-3, 2-1) in the HCC race. The Royals trailed by as many as 14 points in the third quarter before rallying behind Gunn and a big second half from junior Chaz Birchfield (nine of his 16 points came in the fourth quarter) and senior Jack Davidson (19 points).
After a 3-pointer by Davidson cut the Zionsville advantage to 63-62 with 48 seconds left in regulation, the Eagles missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Royals took their first lead since the first quarter when Gunn dished to the 6-4 Birchfield for a layup with 9.1 seconds left.
“It was great the way we came back and battled after getting down by 14,” HSE coach Brian Satterfield said. “The bad thing is we let ourselves get down by 14. We made some lapses defensively.”
HSE needed one more stop in regulation but couldn’t quite seal it. Zionsville’s speedy sophomore point guard, Isaiah Thompson, bolted to the left side of the basket and was fouled by Gunn with 1.8 seconds left. Thompson, who finished with 23 points, made the second of two throws to tie it at 64.
In overtime, Thompson put Zionsville ahead 70-69 on a jumper with 29.1 seconds left. Davidson answered with a 3-pointer from the left wing with 8.2 seconds left to give the Royals a 72-70 lead.
That set up the last sequence. Thompson attempted to drive the left side again and pass the ball out to the perimeter but lost the handle and it was tipped out off an HSE player. With 3.2 seconds left, Thompson inbounded to Tyler Leedy. With the seconds ticking away, Leedy found Bertram a few feet away with a bounce pass.
Bertram, a University of Michigan baseball commit, jumped, allowed Bond to fly by and then let it fly.
“Tyler passed up a shot and it kind of fell to me,” said Bertram who scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half. “I threw it up and it went in. But it was a team effort tonight. Honestly, I thought it was the best game we’ve had all year as a team.”
Busick agreed. It came at a perfect time, too, with Pike, Brownsburg and Homestead on deck next week.
“If we were in the NCAA, this would be considered our signature win,” Busick said.
Call IndyStar reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649. Follow him on Twitter: @KyleNeddenriep.
ZIONSVILLE 73, HAMILTON SE 72, OT
HSE 16 15 16 17 8 – 72
Zionsville 20 20 11 13 9 – 73
HSE (12-3, 2-1) – Etherington 2 1-2 5, Gunn 9 5-5 25, Davidson 5 5-5 19, Rotterman 2 0-2 5, Smith 0 0-0 0, Birchfield 6 4-6 16, Bowman 1 0-0 2, Bond 0 0-0 0, Shank 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 15-20 72.
Zionsville (10-3, 3-0) – Thompson 9 2-5 23, Alcock 1 2-2 4, Bertram 8 2-2 22, Childress 4 2-2 10, Genco 4 0-0 8, Leedy 0 0-0 0, Stemme 2 0-0 6, Hartzel 0 0-0 0. Totals: 28 8-11 73.
3-point goals: HSE 7 (Davidson 4, Gunn 2, Rotterman), Zionsville 9 (Bertram 4, Thompson 3, Stemme 2).