ELDRIDGE — Bettendorf could not have asked for a better final shot to upset North Scott on Tuesday night.
And the Bulldogs' Trevor Feller showed excellent form in taking a wide open 3-pointer from the wing just as the buzzer was about to sound. Feller's shot went into the basket — then out.
Thus the host Lancers escaped with a 40-38 victory in an exciting Mississippi Athletic Conference contest at The Pit.
The win helps keep North Scott (13-3, 11-2 MAC) stay a game behind league-leading Pleasant Valley, who pulled out its own last-second victory over Davenport West on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs fall to 7-6 in the conference and 8-8 overall.
North Scott led the whole game but the Bulldogs got big shots in the final 4 minutes of the game from Phil Gist, Tyrell Alexander and D.J. Carton. Gist's 3-pointer from the corner cut the Lancers lead to 37-33 with 3:44 remaining. After the Lancers missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Carton drove the basket, scored and was fouled. His free throw made it 37-36 with 1:24 left.
Cortaviaus Seales buried two free throws on the next possession to make it 39-36 for the hosts but Alexander's driving jump shot cut the lead back to 39-38 with 17 seconds remaining. Seales went back to the foul line again, making the second of his two attempts to leave the score at 40-38.
Bettendorf called timeout with 6.4 seconds left. Carton gathered himself at the top of the key, made his move drawing two defenders. Carton then dished off to Feller who was set up on the right wing with no defender within 10 feet of him. His shot looked pure. It just didn't go in.
"The screen was good for D.J. (Carton) on the last play and he made the right read," Bulldogs coach Curtis Clark said. "Trevor stepped into it and it looked good and we had the right guy shooting it. We had a chance. If it goes in, this is a different feeling."
The game resembled a playoff contest as each team tried to play smart with every possession and it showed in the halftime score as North Scott led 22-16. Both teams did not shoot particularly well but none of the shots were bad. The Bulldogs hurt themselves with seven turnovers in the first half, limiting their chances to cut into North Scott's lead.
The Lancers' Reece Sommers scored 12 of his team-high 15 points in the first half to help North Scott get out in front. Corvon Seales was a big reason the hosts were able to push their lead to 36-27 by the end of the third quarter with 11 of his 14 points coming in the third.
Carton finished with 21 points for the Bulldogs but had only nine points in the second half and did not have an explosion of 8-10 points in a row which he is more than capable of doing.
Corvon Seales said the Lancers just to re-focus on defense after dropping two conference games last week which left the Lancers parked in second place in the standings. North Scott limited Bettendorf to 15-of-35 shooting from the field and out-rebounded the Bulldogs, 23-19, for the game.
"We just had to forget about (last week) and move on," Seales said. "We played hard and together. Games like this just prepare us for games down the road. It shows how tough we are."
North Scott coach Shamus Budde liked how his team kept possessions alive with 10 offensive rebounds during the contest including four in the fourth quarter to help control the clock and Bettendorf's opportunities.
"It was a great high school basketball game and both teams fought hard," Budde said. "We easily could have ended up on the other end tonight but I felt our guys really stuck together and, collectively, did a good job on (Carton). It was a good team victory for us."