Athletic Event

Olive-Harvey College

Underdog Chiefs falter in the final two minutes and let one slip away 

Underdog Chiefs falter in the final two minutes and let one slip away 

Conference: No

Opponent: Panthers at Chiefs
73 - 77 (L)

(Sugar Grove, IL.) – It was not exactly David versus Goliath, but it felt that way prior to the tipoff Saturday afternoon between Waubonsee Community College’s men’s basketball team and Olive-Harvey College from Chicago. The Chiefs played the role of underdog and nearly pulled off the upset before falling in the final minute to the unbeaten Panthers 77-73.

The visitors entered Erickson Hall undefeated at 10-0 while the Chiefs came in just 2-4 overall, with both wins coming over non-junior college opponents. Olive-Harvey also dressed 16 players, liberally utilizing their deep bench. Meanwhile, due to some early season injuries the Chiefs had just eight players in uniform. Coach Dave Heiss’ squad was also coming off a lackluster 72-54 loss at Sauk Valley in their previous game.

The scrappy, hustling Chiefs played their role to perfection early on, jumping out to a 14-7 lead midway through the first half.  The Chiefs then kept Olive-Harvey at bay as the pace picked up over the remainder of the half. Waubonsee withstood the Panthers’ full-court pressure defense and out rebounded the bigger Panthers 24-22 as they headed to the locker room with a 39-33 lead at the break.

The Chiefs extended their lead to 51-41 seven minutes into the second half when Jacob Niesman scored on a breakaway lay-up after stealing a Panthers’ inbounds pass. Waubonsee then equaled its biggest lead at 60-49 on a left-handed jump hook by Jake Pike with nine minutes left. Olive-Harvey clawed their way within four points on a couple of occasions, but the Chiefs responded each time. Waubonsee led 68-61 with four minutes to go when the Panthers called timeout. The visitors then scored the next 12 points to suddenly surge ahead by five and stun the Chiefs who had led all game. A pair of free throws by Niesman and a shot clock violation by Olive-Harvey gave the Chiefs the ball back with 0:37.9 left trailing 73-70. After a Waubonsee timeout the Chiefs were unable to get a potential game-tying shot off in the final seconds. Olive-Harvey tacked on four free throws and Deland Deere nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin.

Deere finished with 19 points, four assists and two steals to lead Waubonsee’s offense. Pike tallied 18 points, and Darnell Wright snagged 14 rebounds, including nine in the first half, to go along with scoring a dozen points. Niesman chipped in with 11 points, four steals and three assists.

Waubonsee hosts the College of DuPage next Thursday, December 7. Coach Jim Williams’ women’s team tips off at 5:00 p.m. against the Chaparrals, while the men are set to begin at 7:00 p.m. (CDT). Both games can been seen ‘live’ on-line at www.Waubonsee.edu/athletics or locally on cable television. Check with your local cable provider for the channel in your area. For more information on Chiefs’ Athletics go to NJCAA.org.