Brandon Schnitker was in the right place at the right time.
The Nashville guard pulled the ball out of a scrum and threw it toward the basket with 0.4 seconds left to lift the Hornets to a 43-40 win over Pinckneyville in the 2A Nashville Sectional.
Schnitker’s shot ended Pinckneyville’s season at 29-3.
The last-second effort capped a crazy final 13 seconds.
Nashville had tied the game at 40 when Brogan Kemp made a pair of free throws with 2:36 remaining in the game. The Panthers then put the ball on ice until about the 13 second mark, when Kyle Luke found a seam in the Hornet’s defense.
However, Kemp, who was saddled with four fouls, came across the lane to block the shot. After a brief scramble Nashville emerged with the ball. The winning sequence began with Bryson Bultman driving down the lane.
Pinckneyville poked the ball loose. Kemp came up with the ball in the lane, but his shot in the closing seconds missed the rim, resulting in another scramble.
For the record, the ball went through the rim cleanly and Schnitker made the ensuing free throw.
Nashville led most of the game, but Pinckneyville took a 40-36 lead with just over three minutes remaining. And, after Kemp’s free throws tied the game 30 seconds later, Pinckneyville coach Bob Waggoner decided to spread the floor.
And, Waggoner thinks Kemp might have been guilty of goaltending on the play, swatting the ball after it hit the backboard.
In the meantime, Weathers was thrilled with his team’s defense during the critical final 2:30.
I thought we were going to overplay down there,” he said. “We did not want to give up a layup there when they had the floor spread.”
Kemp led the 20-12 Hornets with 18 points and Bultman had 12. Tyler Rulevish and Grant Jausel both scored 11 for Pinckneyville.
Nashville will meet the winner of Trenton Wesclin and Alton Marquette in Friday’s sectional championship.
Edwardsville 67, Glenwood 38
At Granite City, Edwardsville rebounded from a slow start to cruise past Glenwood 67-38.
Edwardsville couldn’t make a shot early on and trailed 12-9 after the first quarter.
The Tigers went on to outscore Glenwood 58-26 the rest of the game, led by Oliver Stephen, who scored 18 points. Jack Marinko added 16 points of his own, and Mark Smith chipped in with 15 as the Tigers cruised to an easy victory in the Class 4A regional semifinal.
Edwardsville will play the winner of Alton-Quincy at 7 p.m. Friday.