CARBONDALE - Nashville's Daniel Thorson's steal with eight seconds left sealed a 51-45 win over the Teutopolis Wooden Shoes at the Class 2A Carbondale Super-Sectional on Tuesday.
"I don't know what was going through my mind," Thorson said. "I saw him turn and look and that's what I've been doing all year with over 50 some steals. I just went after it and got it."
Nashville (26-7) will play Petersburg (Porta) (26-5) Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Carver Arena in Peoria. This is the first state appearance for the Hornets since 2007 when they were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Teutopolis.
Teutopolis (21-10) had clawed back from a nine-point deficit with 6:09 left in the game to tie the score at 45 with 1:36 remaining when Cody Wills stole the ball from Thorson near mid-court and Brett Moore put back the rebound when Wills missed a layup.
"We knew T-Town wasn't going away, but I have to credit out kids for sucking it up and weathering that adversary to finish the ballgame," said Nashville coach Brad Weathers.
Thorson was immediately fouled on Nashville next possession and banged his first free throw off the front rim, but swished his second to give the Hornets a lead they wouldn't give up. Thorson led the game with 25 points.
Wills, who had hit four 3-pointers earlier in the game, including two in the fourth quarter as the Wooden Shoes rallied, missed from the left side and the long rebound went off him out of bounds to give the ball to Nashville.
Keegan Anderson was fouled and made both his free throw attempts to give the Hornets a three-point lead with 1:06 left.
Teutopolis crashed the lane, but Moore's layup was rejected and his hook shot off the rebound was off the front of the rim, but Anderson threw the ball away to hand it back to the Wooden Shoes with 32 seconds remaining.
This time Reed Hardiek's 3-point attempt was off the front of the rim and Nashville took a timeout after Clint Johannes pulled down the rebound. After the timeout Royce Newman was fouled on the in-bounds play, but missed both free throws to give Teutopolis one more chance with 12 seconds left.
After the strategy session Thorson picked off the ball near mid-court and was fouled. He missed the first free throw, but made his second to up the lead to four-points with eight seconds remaining.
Will attempted one last 3-pointer from the top of the key, but it clanked off the front of the rim and Anderson was fouled with 1.3 seconds left. He made both free throws for the final margin. Anderson finished with 13 points.