ELDRIDGE — With the game deadlocked and the Davenport North boys basketball team holding for a final shot in the closing seconds Tuesday night, North Scott’s Cole Kilburg decided to gamble.
It led to a lucrative payout for the Lancers.
Kilburg jumped the passing lane and swiped a pass in the final seconds and scored an uncontested layup with 1.4 seconds left to power North Scott past North 49-47 in a Mississippi Athletic Conference tilt at The Pit.
“A few possessions before that, I about cost us the game letting a guy get a layup,” Kilburg said. “I’m just glad I was able to make up for that for my team.”
“I knew (Jayden) Houston or (Quincy) Wiseman, it was going to go to one of them. It was the same play they ran last year. I saw the elevator screen and thought I had a chance at it.”
North Scott coach Shamus Budde and his staff often get on their players about overplaying and gambling on defense.
“(Cole) gambled big time on that,” Budde said, “but he said he read the play and thought he could jump it. He read the play and we’re lucky he did.”
Landon Eiland had 15 points and Oliver Hughes chipped in 13 for the Lancers, who rebounded from a loss to Muscatine last Friday.
Budde felt his team played selfish at Muscatine in the sense that they buried their heads when things went poorly.
North Scott (6-2, 4-2 MAC) was connected Tuesday night against one of the league’s preseason favorites.
“This is a big character builder,” said Kilburg, who finished with seven points. “After Friday’s game, we were kind of questioning some things. This was a big step forward and we realize we can hang with any team.”
Houston paced North (2-3, 1-3 MAC) with 16 points and six rebounds while Wiseman had 10.
North Scott held North almost 20 points below its season average.
“When our guys lock in for 32 minutes, we have a chance to be successful,” Budde said. “We really dug in for 32 minutes and played extremely hard.
“All we wanted to do was keep it close and give ourselves a chance at the end. We did that and our kids did enough to pull it out.”
The game featured nine lead changes and three ties.
North Scott had a nine-point lead deep into the third quarter, but North scored the final seven points of the period to draw within two.
The Wildcats, in fact, took the lead on a Houston basket with 4:20 remaining and upped it to 47-45 on a KJ Lamonte free throw with 2:02 left.
Eiland tied the game with a spin move in the lane with 1:19 remaining.
North, just 4 of 9 at the foul line, milked the clock for one final look. The shot never happened as Kilburg stepped in front of Wiseman for the steal and winning score.
Kilburg couldn’t remember his last game-winning basket.
“Maybe eighth grade,” he said.
“It was really important for us,” Eiland noted. “We learned a lot from the Muscatine game. We made sure we bounced back and played hard. We made the right decisions tonight.”
North has had a grueling stretch to start its season. It has played five road games, including three against teams in the upper half of the league in Davenport Assumption, Davenport West and North Scott.
It was the second time in less than a week North lost by two points.
“We’ve got some things we’re still working through,” North coach Marc Polite said. “We’re right there, but we’ve got to figure out how to win close games.
“We had a couple stretches tonight where we had three or four mental breakdowns and North Scott was able to capitalize on it and build a lead.”
Record aside, Polite isn’t pushing the panic button.
“We’ve got a resilient group,” he said. “We struggled last year at times, so it is a matter of finding that groove. Hopefully, we find it soon.”
North Scott 49, Davenport North 47
DAVENPORT NORTH (2-3, 1-3) -- Mehki Jacobs 3-7 0-2 7, Jayden Houston 7-13 1-1 16, James Porter 0-2 0-0 0, Quincy Wiseman 3-5 1-2 10, Nolan Mosier 1-1 0-0 2, KJ Lamonte 1-2 1-2 4, Cade Quinn 0-0 0-0 0, Mike Lowery 0-1 0-0 0, Alec Brown 3-3 1-2 8. Total 18-34 4-9 47.
NORTH SCOTT (6-2, 4-2) -- Drew Kilburg 4-5 1-1 9, Oliver Hughes 5-11 0-0 13, Canon Guffey 1-1 2-2 5, Carter Markham 0-1 0-0 0, Landon Eiland 6-9 0-0 15, Cole Kilburg 3-5 0-0 7. Totals 19-32 3-3 49.
3-point goals -- North 7-14 (Wiseman 3-4, Jacobs 1-3, Houston 1-3, Lamonte 1-2, Brown 1-1, Porter 0-1); North Scott 8-17 (Hughes 3-9, Eiland 3-4, Guffey 1-1, C. Kilburg 1-3). Rebounds -- North 14 (Houston 6); North Scott 14 (Hughes 4). Turnovers -- North 7, North Scott 9. Total fouls -- North 9, North Scott 8. Fouled out -- none.
Sophomores: North Scott 56, North 39