Libertyville Falls in March Classic Madness Favors Antioch in Overtime Regional Thriller

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Newton Daily Herald Correspondent

When Illinois held its first high school state basketball tournament, something happened that changed the course of basketball forever.

It is called March Madness, and it is alive and well in Antioch.

The Sequoits traveled to Libertyville Friday night with a regional championship and a berth in next week's Waukegan sectional at stake.

The two teams ended up engaging in a classic.

During the regular season, they had split their meetings, each winning at home. But in neither of those games did Antioch have David Gooch due to injury.

Gooch made his presence felt and the spark he gave his team lifted Antioch to a thrilling 65-62 overtime win over the Wildcats.

"He energized the whole team with his play," said Antioch coach Jeff Dresser. "This is really great for him. He has been going a thousand miles an hour."

Gooch's key play came at the most important time of the season for Antioch (18-10). Libertyville held a 2-point lead at 52-50 to play in regulation. Chris Groth drove the lane for a lay-up but missed it off the side of the rim. The ball took an Antioch bounce right into Gooch's hands for a tying layup with 17 seconds to play.

Libertyville had a chance to win the game but a 3-pointer by Jim Oboikowitch bounced off and a put-back by Matt Schaffer came after time expired.

"They really pumped us up with that tip-in," said Groth. "From there on, it felt like old times."

Antioch and Libertyville proceeded to take their battle onward for another four minutes.

Libertyville opened overtime by taking a 53-50 lead. It would be the Wildcats' last lead of the season.

"We had our chances but we missed free throws and it really cost us," said Libertyville coach Max Sanders. …