London ball

Riley’s shot with 3.6 seconds left lifts New London over Danville

DANVILLE – Torren Riley didn’t have to think about it.

With five seconds remaining and one point away from his team, the New London senior caught the ball high up the sideline, rigged a defender, dribbled and let it fly.

Nothing but the net.

The next thing Riley knew, he was being mobbed by his teammates after taking the biggest blow of his life.

The 15-footer from Riley carried the Tigers to a 55-54 victory over Danville in a SEI Superconference South Division game on Friday at Danville High School.

It was, without a doubt, “the biggest blow of my life, for sure”.

“We were supposed to put on a play, but it really didn’t go as planned. So I had the ball up the sideline, a rigged shot, a dribble, a shot, a net, ”said Riley, who finished with five points. “I didn’t have time to think. pulled and I hope he entered.

“It’s been a little up and down, up and down,” New London head coach Bryant Porter said. “I told him we had a lot of depth and that every night it would be someone different. Tonight you got called out and you knocked him down.

The victory kept New London unbeaten 5-0 on aggregate and 5-0 in the South Division and gave Danville (6-1, 4-1) their first loss of the season.

Ironically, just 24 hours earlier, Porter had made the Tigers work on this same scenario in practice.

The Tigers missed every shot.

When it mattered most, Riley buried it.

“I do all types of shots,” Riley said. “I’m going to practice the long shots. It’s rubbish. I’m always at the gym working on my shot. The biggest shot of my life, for sure.

“We practiced fading into the corner and then bringing in the opposite from the back so we could get an open shot,” Porter said. “It usually works. In practice it didn’t look so good. We didn’t do anything in practice last night. He did one tonight. It was on a big stage and it was. was a nice shot, well done to him.

Danville's Caiden Gourley returned the ball to the field in a game against New London at Danville High School on Friday, December 17, 2021.

Danville composes one last move

Danville, led by one after the sudden and shocking turn of events, got the ball in midfield with 2.2 seconds left and called the time out.

Danville co-head coaches Steven and Michael Soukup delivered one final blow for the Bears. The Bears executed the play to perfection as Cadence Williams returned the ball to Sawyer Nelson, who caught the ball in the air in the left corner and sent it to Gourley on the left wing. As Rylan Martin moved closer to him, Gourley let loose a 3-pointer that took off from the back panel, peeked over the ledge, and fell harmlessly to the ground.

“We practice these end-of-game situations all the time,” said Steven Soukup. “We wanted to get the ball a bit closer in the frontcourt before the timeout. We knew what play we were going to play and the guys did a good job executing it. We got a good shot. We had a good execution. “We gave ourselves a chance to win. That’s all we can ask for.”

“As soon as I touched it, my heart started to race. It was the biggest blow of my life. I prayed they didn’t hit the hit, ”Riley said.

Blaise Porter of New London pulls a float in the lane against the Bears of Danville at Danville High School on Friday December 17th 2021.

Return of the Tigers

Danville controlled the tempo, rebounds and play most of the night. With Drake Johnson hitting halfway, Gourley scoring on the outside and Nelson holding up against Kade Benjamin on the inside, the Bears were leading up to seven points in the second quarter.

New London junior goalkeeper Blaise Porter, who had just six points in the first half, scored 17 points in the third quarter as the Tigers took a 46-42 lead in the fourth quarter.

Ty Carr, Williams and Gourley, who took turns guarding Porter, had no response for the NCAA Division I rookie in eight minutes. From crossover, three-to-lob recoil to Benjamin to a Stephen Curry-type 30-foot 3-point bomb dunk to finish the quarter, Porter was unstoppable.

“I thought he would start hitting shots,” said coach Porter of his son, who finished with 25 points on 10 shots out of 15. “He is pressing a bit. This is only his second. second leg. I feel like he’s going to get there. We have a couple of guys who can take it down. I hope they work together and that will be one of those things where we are a well-oiled machine when we need to be.

“I think Ty and Cadence did a really good job on him,” Soukup said. “They got him to flip the ball a bit, but we still have things to clean up, especially the handling of the ball screens. But it was a really good effort. I think all of our guys have been exceptional this evening. “

Danville's Sawyer Nelson lifts a shot defended by Kade Benjamin of New London at Danville High School on Friday, December 17, 2021.

The payback

If they hadn’t already done so, rest assured that both teams already have January 28, 2022 circled on their timelines. That’s when the two longtime rivals will face off again, this time in the comfortable grounds of the Charles Lorber Gymnasium in New London.

“We are building our skin right now. We have to review these teams and they are going to be difficult. Hope we play better, ”Porter said.

“I thought we had shown we were the better team tonight. They just took big shots when they needed to,” said Soukup. “It won’t be the last time we guys see it.”

By the numbers

NEW LONDON (55)

Kooper Schulte 1-1 0-0 2, Camden Kasel 3-5 0-0 6, Blaise Porter 10-15 2-3 25, Devon Swanson 1-6 0-4 2, Kade Benjamin 5-7 4-4 15, Rylan Martin 0-2 0-0 0, Tayshaun Donaldson 0-5 0-0 0, Torren Riley 2-2 0-0 5, Bowen Glaha 0-0 0-0 0, Alexander Julian 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-43 6-11 55.

DANVILLE (54)

Ty Carr 3-11 4-4 10, Caiden Gourley 6-19 0-1 14, Cadence Williams 2-8 1-3 5, Drake Johnson 7-11 1-2 15, Sawyer Nelson 5-10 0-0 10, Brody Christensen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-59 6-10 54.

Quarter score

New London. 14. 11. 21 9. – 55

Danville. 12. 15. 15. 12. – 54

Fouls: New London 11, Danville 6. Crowd : Nothing. Techniques : Nothing. 3-point goals: New London 7-19 (Porter 3-5, Kasel 2-3, Benjamin 1-1, Riley 1-1, Swanson 0-4, Donaldson 0-5), Danville 2-14 (Gourley 2-7, Johnson 0- 1, Williams 0-2, Carr 0-4).

Recordings: New London 5-0 overall (5-0 SEI Superconference Division South), Danville 6-1 (4-1).