Boys Basketball

Last-second heroics keep Freeburg’s postseason dreams alive

Freeburg Midgets pull out regional win over Waterloo

The Freeburg Community High School Midgets got big plays in the final minute from Quinn Haug and Bryce Rutledge on Feb. 27 as the Midgets defeated the Waterloo High School Bulldogs 54-51 at the Class 3A Mater Dei Regional in Breese, IL in southern
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The Freeburg Community High School Midgets got big plays in the final minute from Quinn Haug and Bryce Rutledge on Feb. 27 as the Midgets defeated the Waterloo High School Bulldogs 54-51 at the Class 3A Mater Dei Regional in Breese, IL in southern

For the second time this season, Freeburg Midgets junior Quinn Haug found a way to beat the Waterloo Bulldogs.

Quinn grabbed a crucial rebound, hit a shot and then sank a free throw with 5.2 seconds remaining to complete a 3-point play Monday, clinching a 54-51 victory over Waterloo at the Class 3A Mater Dei Regional.

“Back in December, Quinn hit the game-winner to beat Waterloo at our place,” Freeburg coach Matt Laur said of a 42-41 Freeburg victory on Dec. 6. “He’s got their number late in the game.”

Haug also had a knack for being in the right place at the right time.

“He went up, ripped it in with two hands and pulled it down and just took it right to the rack, (then) finished withh contact,” Laur said. “It was an unbelievable play.”

Key sequence

Down by four with 1:11 remaining, Freeburg (17-13) clawed its way back to victory. Waterloo (9-21) had a 51-49 lead with 24.5 seconds remaining on two free throws by Griffin Lenhardt.

Freeburg’s Parker Weiss missed two free throws with 12.8 seconds remaining, but teammate Bryce Rutledge hit a shot underneath to tie it with 7.8 seconds remaining. Fouled on the play, Rutledge missed the free throw but Haug snaked his way through traffic to grab the rebound.

He scored and was fouled with 5.2 seconds remaining, hitting a free to complete the 3-point play as the Midgets extended their season at least another day. Freeburg will face Cahokia (18-10) in a regional semifinal game at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“He’s got the heart of a lion,” Laur said of Haug. “He went in there and got that rebound and not only did he get the board, he went back up and finished and got the (foul shot).”

Waterloo closed the first half with a 9-0 run to take a 28-27 lead, only to watch Freeburg open the second half with a 10-0 run to grab a nine-point advantage. Freeburg led 41-35 heading into the fourth quarter, only to see the Bulldogs build a four-point lead that evaporated late.

The teams split two previous games this season.

Key performers

Weiss scored 13 of his team-high 15 points in the first half for Freeburg while Zach Muir added 14 points. Ross Schrader topped Waterloo with 15 points while Dylan Hunt added 14 before fouling out with 7.8 seconds remaining.

Norm Sanders: 618-239-2454, @NormSanders

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