Trevor Feller had not scored a point all night.
"I couldn't find it," he said, "but my teammates just kept telling me to keep shooting. I knew if I stuck with it, I would hit one."
When Feller did finally connect, it ended the North Scott boys basketball team's undefeated season.
Feller buried a 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining Monday night as Class 4A third-ranked Bettendorf edged top-ranked North Scott 43-41 to force a tie atop the Mississippi Athletic Conference standings.
The Lancers had one final crack, but Reece Sommers' contested try from the top of the key was off the mark.
As the buzzer sounded, the entire Bettendorf squad swarmed Feller to celebrate. Moments later, the student section rushed toward him.
"I'll never forget it the rest of my life," Feller said. "To be honest, it didn't feel very good off my hands. When it went in, it was the best feeling."
Both teams are 18-1 overall and 15-1 in the MAC. North Scott closes the regular season with Burlington and Clinton.
Bettendorf, meanwhile, plays host to Davenport North on Tuesday before heading to 10th-ranked Davenport Central on Thursday.
"We've got to be mature and realize we're not done yet," point guard D.J. Carton said. "We can't lay an egg these last two games against two really good teams. We've got to finish it off."
North Scott has thrived in close games all season.
The Lancers were poised to do it again, overcoming a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter behind Sam Kilburg's outside shooting.
But with the lead in the final 62 seconds, North Scott was whistled for a double-dribble violation and missed the front end of two one-and-one chances.
"It wasn't just the free throws," North Scott coach Shamus Budde said. "In the last five minutes, there 50-50 balls we didn't come up with, some boards we didn't get and we missed some shots.
"Just two hours ago, we were the only team (in 4A) that hadn't lost in the state. We have a group that is very competitive, and they don't like the feeling they have right now. There's no doubt we'll respond."
North Scott was 11 of 33 (33 percent) from the field. It didn't make a shot from inside the 3-point line until midway through the third quarter.
Junior post and Northern Iowa recruit Ty Anderson, averaging 14.6 points per game, was held without a basket and to just two points.
"That was key," said Bettendorf coach Curtis Clark, whose team was without post Lucas Hayes because of illness. "He was a handful at their place, drawing 13 or 15 fouls against us. I thought Oliver (Bakeris) did a really good job, battled really hard and got good help over the top."
Carton finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists.
The Lancers did an admirable job of getting the ball out of his hands. Others delivered.
Tyler Wellman dropped in four 3-pointers. Blake Tyler nailed two trifectas. And then Feller swished the game-winner.
"D.J. has such great vision," Wellman said. "It leaves other guys open, and I had to be ready to knock down shots and have confidence in myself."
Bettendorf was 3-for-23 from the beyond the arc in an overtime loss at The Pit in December. The Bulldogs scored 18 more points from the 3-point line in this encounter.
"I missed a few at North Scott, but I just stuck with it," Feller said.
Despite missing his first four attempts Monday, Feller is Bettendorf's best 3-point shooter for the season at almost 45 percent.
After Sommers missed a free throw with 20 seconds left, Carton brought the ball up the court. As he reached the 3-point line, he kicked it over to Feller on the right wing.
Feller said he practiced that shot 25 to 30 times after Bettendorf's workout Sunday night.
"Obviously, we called Trevor's number for a reason," Clark said. "It speaks volumes to the confidence I have in him and the confidence D.J. has in him. Every time he catches the ball, I think the next one is going in.
"I think we finally got him believing in that as well."
Carton and Feller have been close friends since they were 4 years old. Carton said they acted out that clock-running-down sequence in the backyard growing up.
"We dreamed of moments like these," Carton said. "It was unbelievable to see him make that game-winning shot."
Kilburg had 15 points and Cortaviaus Seales finished with a dozen for the Lancers.
If there is a third meeting between the MAC's top two programs, it will come at the state tournament next month.
The teams aren't in the same substate and likely wouldn't meet until the semifinal or championship game.
"That would be fun," Carton said. "This is what high school basketball is all about. We live for these moments."