Late Tuesday: Pirates take thriller with last-second 3 by Nathan Simyak

Published:

Record-Courier staff report

Nathan Simyak hit the biggest shot of his high school career on Tuesday night, draining a 3-pointer with just 2.5 seconds remaining that lifted the visiting Southeast Pirates to a thrilling 47-46 Portage Trail Conference County Division victory over the Woodridge Bulldogs.

It was one of Simyak's three 3-pointers in the game and helped give the Pirates a come-from-behind win against the team they shared the County Division title with a season ago.

Though the game was tight throughout, Woodridge had inched out to a five-point lead midway through the fourth quarter before the Pirates' rally was eventually completed by Simyak's long-range perfection.

"When Woodridge took a five-point lead, our kids did a really good job of playing with composure," Southeast head coach Matt Dillon said. "Trevor Norquest really played like a senior tonight. He hit a big shot in the fourth quarter and gave us great leadership."

Norquest finished the game with 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, while Simyak's final scoring total was 12. Leading the Pirates in scoring was Jordan Krych, who hit for 16 points on six field goals and a 3-of-4 night from the free-throw line.

"We were not sure if we had enough firepower to beat Woodridge," Dillon said. "Our kids really battled tonight."

The two teams looked to get their footing in the first quarter, with neither gaining any sustainable offensive momentum before the quarter closed in a 7-7 tie.

It was Krych who got the Pirates going in the second quarter, when he scored nine points. Woodridge's attempt to offset that scoring effort came from Nelson Perry, who scored eight of his 13 points in the second quarter. In a sign of what would be to come, Norquest buried a shot at the first-half buzzer that gave the Pirates a 23-21 edge at the break.

There was a bit more scoring, but the third quarter seemed to mirror the first quarter. No team held a lead of more than three points. The Bulldogs got their scoring punch from Sean McCoy, who put in five of his nine points in the quarter.

Southeast sophomore Corey Proctor hit a big 3 that gave his team the lead midway through the third quarter, but Woodridge stayed close and battled back to a 34-34 tie entering the game's final quarter.

Anthony Mong, who tied Perry as Woodridge's team scoring leader with 13 points, hit for nine points in the final quarter, including a free throw with 20 seconds to play that gave the Bulldogs a two-point lead.

It set the stage for Simyak's eventual game-winning 3.

Woodridge got one last shot to try and tie or potentially win the game, but the shot missed at the buzzer.

"Perry and Mong had really good games for Woodridge," Dillon said. "We were real proud of how Dakota Laporte played for us. He didn't score tonight, but he sure did a lot of other good things."

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