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Last-second basket lifts Dundee-Crown

Elg12/23/13--Dundee-Crown's Malik Dunner steals pass intended for Englewood's Shartone Moore. Team Englewood played Dundee-Crown boys basketball ElgHigh School Monday afternoon.

Elgin, 12/23/13--Dundee-Crown's Malik Dunner steals a pass intended for Englewood's Shartone Moore. Team Englewood played Dundee-Crown in boys basketball at Elgin High School Monday afternoon. | Jon Langham/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 25, 2014 6:23AM

At 5-foot-8 and the shortest player on the court, Dundee-Crown guard Zach Pochop had no hestitation Monday about driving straight up the lane through the taller trees to try for the game-winning layup.

After all, the Chargers already had done the near impossible, so what was one more unlikely bucket?

Pochop sneaked the layup through taller players as the buzzer sounded as Dundee-Crown completed a 20-point second-half comeback for a 50-48 victory over TEAM Englewood in the first round of the 39th annual Elgin Holiday Basketball Tournament.

“I knew from the second half, cutting through their zone, that they weren’t coming up,” Pochop said of the TEAM Englewood defense. “I knew I was quick enough to beat them off the dribble, so I just took the chance.

“If worse comes to worst, we would just go into overtime, so I wasn’t scared taking it in there for the layup.”

D-C trailed 32-12 at halftime after making 5-of-20 shots. Englewood’s 6-foot-4 Shartone Moore scored 13 of his game-high 17 points in the first half while triggering a 17-0 run to close the second quarter.

However, D-C answered with its own run. Cordero Parson came off the bench for all 12 of his points in the second half to trigger the Chargers’ 22-7 third-quarter edge, as they went on to earn a 5 p.m. Thursday match-up against Elgin in the winners bracket.

“Our guys, they acted like they wanted to be there,” D-C coach Lance Huber said. “The first half, it wasn’t that way.

“We got them to play a little faster and they threw the ball away and gave you some chances.”

D-C (3-6) held Englewood to 16 second-half points and finally pulled into the lead with 3:38 left in the game on a pair of free throws by Parson. They lost the lead, then regained it on a layup by Connor Steinmetz, then went on to build a 47-44 edge.

But when Steinmetz missed the second of two free throws with 21.8 seconds left and Tomas Carpenter sneaked inside for a layup 13 seconds later, the game was tied. Pochop then made his drive up the lane to the win.

“We came out the second half and we got up on the ball and started pressuring them and they started to turn the ball our way,” Pochop said. “And our bench was a big part of it, too.”

Steinmetz had five second-half points off the bench and Nick Munson scored eight of his 10 in the third quarter for D-C.

Englewood (4-4) got 13 points from Carpenter and fell into a loser’s bracket game Thursday vs. South Shore.

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